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Aretha Franklin, Bill Clinton, Alec Baldwin Light Up Elton John AIDS Foundation Gala

Elton John rarely does anything by half, and the 25th annual gala for the AIDS Foundation that bears his name was certainly no exception. While the event, held at New York’s majestic Cathedral of St. John the Divine, featured a monumentally star-studded guest list, speeches from former President Bill Clinton, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, Alec Baldwin, host Neil Patrick Harris and John himself, and was capped by an intimate performance from none other than Aretha Franklin, its most memorable moment came from the mother of Ryan White, the teenager whose death in 1990 led directly to the creation of the foundation. The event raised more than $4.3 million.

Read more at Variety.

Aretha Franklin – The Making Of ‘A Brand New Me’

brand new me

Watch the behind-the-scenes story of the making of Aretha Franklin’s A Brand New Me, containing clips from the recording at Abbey Road Studios and archive footage of Aretha in concert, as well as interviews with: Nile Rodgers (Chic), James Williams (Managing Director, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra), Nick Patrick (Album Co-Producer), and Don Reedman (Album Co-Producer).

Pre-order A Brand New Me here:

Listen To A New Version of Aretha Franklin’s ‘A Natural Woman’ With The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra

Nick Patrick and Don Reedman can’t lie. Part of the allure of producing A Brand New Me: Aretha Franklin With The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra — whose version of “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman” is premiering exclusively below — was a chance to play with the Queen of Soul’s original vocal recordings from the 1960s.

The 14-song set (12 on LP), due out Nov. 10, pairs those vintage vocals with new orchestrations the British duo put together with the Royal Philharmonic at Abbey Road Studios, along with new backing vocals by Patti Austin.