During Super Bowl 50, Jeep premiered a 60-second commercial entitled “Portraits” that included an image of Aretha Franklin. View the commercial:
In response to the water crisis in Flint, Aretha Franklin is looking to provide nightly rooms for 25-50 people at the Holiday Inn in Southfield. Flint residents will be pre-screened at New Bethel Baptist Church, her father’s church in Detroit, at a date to be determined. “Detroiters usually come to the aid of Detroiters — and Flint is certainly regarded as Detroit,” Franklin said to Local 4. “Hang in there.”
In addition, the Queen of Soul has recorded a public service announcement in support of the Music Hall Center for the Performing Arts, where she has performed a number of times, and which has been in danger of closing. She says in the spot: “Hi. This is Aretha Franklin asking you to support the Music Hall in keeping great performances and music alive,” the Detroit Free Press reports.
Do you have a sense of why your Kennedy Center performance was such a sensation?
I’m not sure why, but I sure enjoyed it. I loved the response from the audience and everyone who has been calling and texting. I’m just very happy about it.
People were saying President Obama shed a tear. What did you think when you heard that?
I’ve been wondering about that. I don’t know. What do you think?
Aretha Franklin is rightly revered as one of the great singers of all time – the single greatest, according to Rolling Stone’s official rankings – but sometimes that overshadows her other talents, including her songwriting and her piano playing. On the night of March 6th, 1971, in the middle of a three-show stand at the Fillmore West in San Francisco, Franklin sat down at the piano and for nine astonishing minutes, showed off everything she could do with “Dr. Feelgood,” a blues song she wrote four years earlier for her breakthrough album I Never Loved a Man The Way I Love You. She took that performance from the Fillmore to the bedroom to church, and then back again.
Read more at Rolling Stone.
Aretha Franklin still reigns as the Queen of Soul and nobody is even close.
Franklin sang her way into the hearts of a full house at The Mohegan Sun Arena Friday night.
Despite her 73 years, Franklin’s voice is still something to behold. Backed by an 18-piece orchestra that included a 10-member horn section, and four backup singers, the 19-time Grammy winner’s voice melded smoothly with the others on stage but brilliantly stood out as well.
Read more at The Sun Chronicle.
Here is video of Aretha’s tribute to Natalie Cole from Showbiz411.com.
If you missed the Queen of Soul’s performance of “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman,” in tribute to Carole King at The Kennedy Center Honors, watch it now at CBS.com.
Here’s some of what the press are saying:
“The internet received a late Christmas gift when a video of singer Aretha Franklin performing “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman” at the 38th annual Kennedy Center Honors began making the rounds on December 29, shortly after the concert was shown on prime time TV. … In the clip, King sits next to the FLOTUS and POTUS in the Kennedy Center’s balcony as Chilina Kennedy (who currently plays King in the biographical Broadway musical, Beautiful) introduces the Queen of Soul on stage. Dressed in a full-length fur coat, the 73-year-old Franklin then strolls to a grand piano, takes the audience to church with her rendition of “A Natural Woman” and turns the ensuing four minutes into instant legend.” – The Huffington Post
Trumpeter Wynton Marsalis had a special gift for the audience when he introduced Aretha Franklin in the middle of Thursday night’s (Dec. 17) annual “Big Band Holidays” concert at the Rose Theater. The concert followed a ribbon-cutting ceremony hosted by Bette Midler to open the new Mica and Ahmet Ertegun Atrium at Jazz at Lincoln Center.
Accompanying herself on piano, she sang the Christmas carol “O Tannenbaum” in English and German. She followed with a soulful, gospel-infused version of the Tom Jones-Harvey Schmidt tune “My Cup Runneth Over.” … [She] dedicated her performance to Atlantic Records founder Ahmet Ertegun, who died in 2006.
Read more at Billboard.
The Kennedy Center Honors ceremony was held Sunday night, where this year’s honorees were celebrated for their lifetime contributions to American culture. The chosen few included songwriter Carole King, actress and singer Rita Moreno, conductor Seiji Ozawa, Broadway star Cicely Tyson and filmmaker George Lucas.
… Aretha Franklin brought the house down in her closing performance of the song she immortalized, “Natural Woman.” King was visibly moved by the powerhouse. The Kennedy Center Honors will be broadcast on CBS on December 29.
Read more and watch a clip of the performance at CBS This Morning.