Aretha Franklin Reacts to Criticism Over Missing Whitney Houston’s Funeral

The Queen of Soul says, "Cissy does not need ridiculous speculation."

Posted: 02/22/2012 05:14 PM EST
Aretha Franklins talks about criticism over Whitney's funeral

The Queen of Soul has had enough. Aretha Franklin has responded to reports that she wasn't in attendance at Whitney Houston's funeral because Whitney's mother, Cissy Houston, uninvited her at the last minute.

"Extra TV, the New York Post and Newsday (New York) should stop the BS," Franklin said in a statement. "Cissy Houston and I have been longtime friends for almost 50 years. I have four invitations and parking passes that were sent to me for the funeral. Extra TV, the New York Post and Newsday (New York) are more interested in sensationalism and negative speculations than the truth. People are getting their information from the wrong source. The intelligent and the thoughtful thing to do would be to respect and have some sensitivity to the moment. If you don't know how, at least try. Cissy does not need ridiculous speculation and neither do I — particularly at this time."

Whitney Houston was laid to rest on Feb. 18 in her New Jersey hometown. Mourners, including singer Jennifer Hudson, and Cissy Houston stood, swayed and clapped along in the aisles as gospel singers BeBe Winans and the Rev. Kim Burrell joined with pop stars like Alicia Keys in paying tribute to the 48-year-old pop superstar. Franklin, who was originally slated to sing, was unexpectedly absent from the ceremony.

Speculation on her absence was fueled by Franklin's appearance on the Today show in which she told Al Roker, "Parents really have to talk to their children before they leave home. They have to make sure when they leave home, they have all the right things. She left home with all the right things, but she just kind of lost her way along the way." The statement was translated by many as a jab at Cissy Houston's parenting skills but Franklin said that that's not the case and calls out the media outlets for skewing her words.

"With respect to the Today show, my entire statement was pre-taped," she said. "However, the Today show did not air the part of my statement which said, 'This is no reflection on Cissy or Nippy's upbringing.' Knowing Cissy as well as I do, I know Whitney left home right and properly. I was generalizing and it was a well intended statement for any young adult coming into the music industry. I was not speaking of anyone specifically."

Cissy Houston has yet to make a public comment.

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(Photo: Neilson Barnard/Getty Images)

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