Entries in Aretha Franklin (14)


Aretha Franklin to Sing at Whitney Houston's Funeral?

Isaiah Trickey/FilmMagic(NEW YORK) -- The final details of Whitney Houston’s funeral are still coming together and Whitney’s godmother, Aretha Franklin, has been asked to perform during the service in New Jersey on Saturday, reports Entertainment Tonight.  

A source told ET that music veteran Clive Davis personally invited the Queen of Soul to sing during the invitation-only funeral, which is taking place at Newark’s New Hope Baptist Church where Whitney sang as a child.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Aretha Franklin Calls Off Wedding

Isaiah Trickey/FilmMagic(LOS ANGELES) -- Not long ago, Aretha Franklin surprised fans with the news that she and her longtime friend, William "Willie" Willkerson, were engaged and planned to tie the knot in June or July.  Well, get ready for another surprise -- the Queen of Soul has called off the wedding.

In a statement, Franklin said, "Regretfully, To Our Friends and Supporters: Will and I have decided we were moving a little too fast, and there were a number of things that had not been thought through thoroughly.  There will be no wedding at this time."  She added, "We will not comment on it any further because of the very personal and sensitive nature of it. We appreciate all of the many well wishes from friends."

Franklin's rep initially told ABC News Radio that the couple were considering a wedding in Miami Beach, followed by a reception aboard a luxury yacht, with the legendary singer sporting a dress designed by Donna Karan, Valentino or Vera Wang.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Aretha Franklin Getting Hitched to Longtime Friend

Isaiah Trickey/FilmMagic(NEW YORK) -- Aretha Franklin is ready to tie to the knot with her "forever friend" William 'Willie' Wilkerson. The two are considering a wedding in June or July, "and no I'm not pregnant..." the 69-year-old singer joked.

A rep for the Queen of Soul confirms to ABC News Radio that the lovebirds are considering a ceremony in Miami Beach, followed by a reception aboard a private luxury yacht.  

Franklin, who lost 85 pounds in the wake of a health scare last year, is already thinking about what dress she'll wear.  So far, she's "considering Donna Karan, Valentino and the queen of wedding dresses, Vera Wang, to design her gown," says her rep.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Aretha Franklin to Perform Free Concert on Coney Island

Isaiah Trickey/FilmMagic(BROOKLYN, N.Y.) -- Aretha Franklin will perform a free concert on Coney Island Thursday night when she makes her first trip to the Beep's Seaside Concert series in Brooklyn.

Franklin was scheduled to attend two events in Brooklyn last summer but was forced to withdraw after injuring her ribs in a fall.

"I'm thrilled that she's here," Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz told the New York Daily News. "She's the kind of entertainer that's adored the world over."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Aretha Franklin Fractures Toe in Hotel Mishap

Jeff Fusco/Getty Images(DALLAS) -- Aretha Franklin won't let an injury to her toe stop her from performing in concert.

Her rep said Monday that the Queen of Soul accidentally stumbled over a pile of shoes at a Dallas hotel recently.  A few days later, she was diagnosed with a fractured left index toe at an Indianapolis hospital.

Franklin said, "I'm so grateful it wasn't my right piano pedal foot, I have a gig on July 27 at the Jones Beach Theatre in New York!"

The statement didn't mention Franklin's scheduled concert in Virginia Tuesday night.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


'Queen of Soul' Celebrates Birthday in Royal Fashion

Jeff Fusco/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- The “Queen of Soul” Aretha Franklin celebrated her birthday in royal fashion Friday night, in a star-studded birthday party in New York City.

Franklin celebrated her 69th birthday late into Friday night at a posh New York hotel, and was on both the giving and receiving ends of live performances at the bash.

Among some of the big names in attendance at the swanky gathering were, Clive Davis, Smokey Robinson and Tony Bennett, according to published reports.

Franklin appeared slimmed-down and upbeat, having survived a mystery ailment and surgery.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Aretha Franklin Plans 69th Birthday Bash Friday in New York City

Jeff Fusco/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- She survived a mystery ailment and surgery, and now Aretha Franklin is ready to party.

Friday in New York City, the slimmed-down singer will celebrate her 69th birthday in style.  Her publicist confirms to ABC News Radio that the Queen of Soul will start her evening by attending a production of the Broadway play Driving Miss Daisy, starring James Earl Jones and Vanessa Redgrave.  Then, she'll have a birthday bash at a swanky hotel, with plenty of special guests and musical performances.

Franklin has already been spotted out and about in New York City.  E! Online reports that Wednesday night, she got an ovation when she was seen courtside at a New York Knicks/Orlando Magic game at Madison Square Garden.  Among those clapping for her were filmmaker Spike Lee, New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg, and former New York Knicks star Patrick Ewing.  Franklin gave everyone a thumbs-up and bobbed her head as the P.A. played her greatest hits.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Christina Aguilera, Jennifer Hudson to Honor Aretha on Grammys?

Photo Courtesy - RCA Records(LOS ANGELES) -- Will Christina Aguilera's first performance, post-national anthem debacle, be at the Grammy Awards?

The music industry blog Wayne's World reports that Aguilera and Jennifer Hudson will open the awards this Sunday night with a special tribute to Aretha Franklin.  According to the blog, three additional artists from different genres will also take part in the number, and the Queen of Soul herself is planning to appear on stage, showing everyone that she's alive and well following her surgery in December.

Meanwhile, Entertainment Tonight reports Barbra Streisand will also perform at this year's Grammys.  The music legend is being honored Friday night for her philanthropy and her storied career at the annual MusiCares Person of The Year gala in Los Angeles.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Aretha Franklin Says Her Health Problem 'Has Been Resolved'

Photo Courtesy - Jeff Fusco/Getty Images(DETROIT) -- Aretha Franklin still isn't confirming, or denying, those reports that she's battling pancreatic cancer, but in an exclusive interview with Jet magazine, she reveals that, when it comes to the health issue that required her to have surgery late last year, "The problem has been resolved."

The Queen of Soul states, "I'm not one to do a lot of talking about my personal health or business...[but] I know my fans are concerned.  Let them know I am feeling great and coming along."

However, Franklin does open up about the circumstances under which she found out that she was ill.  She tells Jet that she felt "a very hard pain in my side" during a concert in Canada last year, but thought it was a result of a colonoscopy she'd had a couple of days beforehand.  Her doctor told her that it couldn't have been that, and she'd better come in for a CAT scan.

Franklin says, "Thank God he said that, because that unfolded everything, what the problem was and everything."

Regarding the pancreatic cancer rumor, Franklin tells Jet, "I am not going to even deal with that.  I don't have to talk about my health with anybody other than my doctors."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Aretha Franklin Is Home for the Holidays

Photo Courtesy - Jeff Fusco/Getty Images(DETROIT) -- The Queen of Soul is alive and well and will be celebrating the holidays at home this year.  Aretha Franklin was discharged from a Detroit hospital earlier this week after undergoing "highly successful" surgery for an unspecified ailment.

In a statement, the legendary singer says, "I've been at home for almost three days now.  My family and friends who brought me home are taking great care of me."

Franklin says she's got a private nurse visiting her daily, and specifically says she hopes to be strong enough to go out and see two local theatrical productions before they close: a play about the late Sam Cooke, and a production of the musical Dreamgirls.

There have been numerous reports that Franklin is suffering from pancreatic cancer, but the singer has yet to confirm those rumors.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio