This past Sunday, Aretha Franklin turned up on the 53rd Annual Grammy Awards – her first television appearance since undergoing surgery for an undisclosed ailment in December.
Following a star-studded Grammy Awards tribute and the show's opening number by Christina Aguilera, Jennifer Hudson, Yolanda Adams, Martina McBride and Florence Welch, the Queen of Soul appeared noticeably slimmer in a video clip, where she thanked fans for their cards, flowers and prayers.
And, if the 68 year-old vocal powerhouse has her choice, she will keep shedding more pounds in the near future.
"I want to not only maintain the weight I am at now, but better it, by one dress size," the 'Respect' singer told the Associated Press this week.
Franklin has not only begun an exercise routine, which includes walking a track three times a week for at least a mile, she's also made a few major adjustments to her diet in her goal to reach a size 16.
Gone are the chitterlings, pigs' feet and ham hocks of days past. Now, she's focused on healthier eating options.
"They're off my diet. They just really don't fit with Whole Foods," she said. "I had it for enough years that I don't miss it. You can't continue to eat things that are not good for you."
Franklin admitted that keeping the diet is tough with the touring schedule she keeps.
"When you come off (a high-energy concert), a carrot or some celery just isn't going to work," she said. "I've gotta do a fresh fruit thing ... and come up with some tasty and satisfying recipes that are going to work for me after concerts."
For now, the 18-time Grammy Award winner, who stands firm that she currently is back at "150 percent," is gearing up for her first post-surgery performance on May 28 at Seneca Niagara Casino in Buffalo, NY.
She is practicing her singing four to five times a day and plans to release an album the first week of May titled 'Aretha: A Woman Falling Out of Love' exclusively in Wal-Mart Stores. R. Kelly is one of the album's songwriters.
"It's definitely going to take the boomers back ... but it's also contemporary with respect to other writers and production," she said.
Franklin has been hitting the town – attending a Detroit Pistons game with her friend Rev. Jesse Jackson and days later turned up at a boat show. Let her tell it, her goal remains to "just maintain good health from here."
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