Aretha Franklin: I'm Not Too Old For American Idol

Aretha Franklin: I'm Not Too Old For American Idol

The Queen of Soul responds to NBC host Kathie Lee Gifford.

Published July 18, 2012

Aretha Franklin schooled Today show co-host Kathie Lee Gifford on her relevance to today's younger music fans. Gifford had dismissed the music legend as a viable option to become a new judge on American Idol, citing a gap in terms of generational relevance.


"If they are looking for a younger demographic, there are a lot of kids out there (who) actually don't know who Aretha Franklin is. It's sad, but they don't," Gifford said.


In an email to CNN, Ms. Franklin disagreed, particularly since her multi-generational hit song, “Natural Woman,” is often performed on the show. The Queen of Soul has publicly offered to judge the show, and released a rebuttal to her naysayer.


"My audience and fans span the age of eight to 90! And are multi-ethnic, and I am very well known to young adults, tweens and teens. Their parents play my music and I take care of my business whenever I sign on the dotted line,” she said. 


E! correspondent Jason Kennedy echoed some of Gifford’s concerns, adding that the 70-year-old soul singer doesn’t like to fly and may not make it to auditions. Franklin had something to say about that as well.


“I've been to California from Detroit four times this year and Florida. I go wherever I choose to go comfortably on my custom bus,” she revealed.


It’s clear that Ms. Franklin is serious about putting her name in as the perfect candidate to replace outgoing judges Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler, who both quit the show last week. Franklin says she won't accept nothing less than r-e-s-p-e-c-t from media pundits, who question her desire to fill the role. is your #1 source for Black celebrity news, photos, exclusive videos and all the latest in the world of hip hop and R&B music.


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(Photo: Frank Micelotta/PictureGroup)

Written by Arielle Loren


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