It's about time we find out what respect really means to Aretha Franklin.
The Queen of Soul is celebrating 30 years since the release of her first certified platinum album, Who's Zoomin' Who, this year, and she's says she's ready to see her life story hit Broadway.
"I would like to see it be a dramatic musical," she told Billboard. "I loved the Motown musical; it was so great. I think the timing is very good now, especially behind Jersey Boys, Carole King [Beautiful]. Gloria Estefan has come to Broadway now [On Your Feet] and why not Aretha?"
Franklin, who has long had a made-for-TV biopic in the works (coincidentally, she's been considering Broadway powerhouses Jennifer Hudson and Audra McDonald for the lead), says she's now in production talks with actress/director Marsha Mason for the stage play. Mason is, "very amenable and would love to do it," she noted.
This fall, the woman with twenty No. 1 R&B singles, eight honorary degrees and a Presidential Medal of Freedom, will be honored at the National Portrait Gallery's inaugural American Portrait Gala in Washington, D.C. Franklin's also producing an all-star gospel concert at her late father's New Bethel Baptist Church in Detroit with Shirley Caesar, the Williams Brothers and Vanessa Bell Armstrong, among others.
"I'm feeling much better now," she says of the slight health scare she gave fans when she canceled shows due to exhaustion. "I needed to break right at this point. You have to take care of yourself first, and I really needed a break right there. It was just a little too much ... Regretfully it was just before Caesars Palace; I was really looking forward to that. But those things happen, and you have to do what you have to do."
Who's Zoomin' Who was followed by Franklin's self-titled album, Aretha. Her most recent album, Aretha Franklin Sings the Great Diva Classics, was released in 2014.
She's currently helping her son Kecalf, a Christian rapper, and grandson Jordan, a writer and producer, find deals.
Watch Aretha Franklin Sings Tribute to Madiba in the BET Honors video below.
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