Aretha Franklin is reportedly fighting pancreatic cancer.

The 'Respect' singer - who recently underwent "serious" surgery for an undisclosed condition - is said to have been told she has less than a year to live after being diagnosed with the disease, which has a survival rate of just five to 10 per cent.

The 68-year-old star's family has refused to discuss her prognosis, except to say she is doing "OK" but one unnamed relative - who confirmed she has cancer but refused to say which type - told Detroit's WJBK Fox 2 radio station those close to her a "very concerned".

Last month Aretha cancelled all her concerts until May for "medical reasons".

Until late October she had been recording and touring, but last week released a statement saying she had undergone "highly successful" surgery.

The Rev Jesse Jackson - who has visited the singer in hospital -said: "She is recovering and her spirits are high.

"She's conscious, communicating and taking daily walks up and down the hall."

Aretha was born in Memphis, Tennessee in 1942 and grew up in Michigan, where she started singing in her local church as a young girl.

The star - whose hits include 'Say A Little Prayer' - has won 20 Grammy Awards and had 20 number one hits in the Billboard top 100 music charts.