In Aretha Franklin’s 75 glorious years, the iconic gospel, jazz and R&B songstress has been crowned with 18 Grammy Awards, platinum certifications, induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as the first female performer and the vocalist honor of inaugurating our first Black president, Barack Obama.
But after her commentary on legendary gospel and soul vocalist Dionne Warwick and her remarks at Whitney Houston’s funeral in 2012, the Queen of Soul is now taking on the throne as the Queen of Shade, too.
Judging by sentiments she shared in an interview with the Associated Press, Franklin still has a chip on her shoulder after Warwick claimed at the funeral that the “Respect” singer was Houston’s godmother.
“She blatantly lied on me,” she said, according to AP, “fully well knowing what she was doing."
AP adds that Franklin was adamant about getting her point across, sending a fax to the publication just a day before her interview, explaining that Warwick, who is also Houston’s first cousin, libeled her name at the 2012 home-going service. The “Don’t Make Me Over” songstress had also mistakenly introduced Franklin at the funeral before realizing that she was absent, which Franklin explains was due to swollen feet and her performance duties at New York’s Radio City Music Hall that night.
But despite Houston’s mother, Cissy Houston, clarifying afterward that Darlene Love is actually Nippy’s godmother, Franklin still held on to the grudge that she resurfaced after running into Warwick at the Tribeca Film Festival last week. Further elaborating that Warwick addressed her backstage by asking for a hug, Franklin said that she sharply rejected her.
“I said, ‘Oh, hell no,’” she recalled from the encounter. “You couldn’t be serious.”
To this day, Franklin added, she doesn’t even want so much as an apology from Warwick and ultimately has no interest in a cordial relationship with her.
"We've never been friends, and I don't think that Dionne has ever liked me,” Franklin confirmed.
As for Warwick’s response to the hard feelings, there’s pretty much nothing to say at all after her representative declared that “she will not dignify a response to the statement” from Ms. Aretha.
Yes, everybody — the soul queens go to war, too.
(Photos from left: Theo Wargo/Getty Images for Tribeca Film Festival, Terry Wyatt/Getty Images for National Museum of African American Music, Michael Buckner/Getty Images)