2:26 pm - 03/24/2014

Up All Night With Aretha Franklin

On her 72nd birthday, Queen of Soul opens up about working with Andre 3000, love for Beyonce and why she won't retire

"What a party!," Aretha Franklin said Saturday night, seated on a couch in the Ritz Carlton’s appropriately-named Star Lounge, looking elegant in pearls and a sparkly lime green skirt suit. "Just tremendous. What a night!"

The Queen of Soul spent much of her 72nd birthday bash tucked in a corner, sipping Coke next to friends Clive Davis and Denzel Washington. But close to midnight, she cut a multi-tiered vanilla cake, handing pieces out personally to guests, including Congressman Charles Rangel and Judge Mathis. Then she was on a couch in the center of the room, tapping her fingers to the Dizzy Gillespie All Stars. Does Ms. Franklin have an all-time favorite birthday? "Other than this one?," she told Rolling Stone with a grin.

Franklin has a lot to celebrate right now. Last week, she played Atlantic City’s Revel Casino Hotel ("It was fantastic, a smashing night") and has June dates scheduled for New York’s Radio City Music Hall. She’s also reunited with Davis, who is executive producing her next LP, a concept album where she’ll cover her favorite female singers – songs like Donna Summer’s "Last Dance" and Barbra Streisand’s "People."

Franklin is also linking up with one prominent hip-hop name. "Andre 3000 is going to be aiding in producing some of the tracks," said Franklin. "I love everything he does. He’s got a groove that I really, really like." Franklin said she recently received several of the recorded tracks from producer Babyface, which she is preparing to sing over and is aiming for a June release. "But right now, I’m just looking for a record deal for my granddaughter, Victorie, who sang for me at the BET Honors," Franklin said. Franklin on being a grandmother: "It’s fabulous."

Franklin is also considering covering Beyonce on her next LP, opening up about her affinity for the singer. "I like 'Bootylicious,' 'Survivor' – my little granddaughter loves 'Survivor,'" she said. "She’s a worker," Franklin says of Beyonce. "And I can appreciate that. I’m a worker."

Franklin’s real birthday isn’t until tomorrow, March 25th, and she’s still solidifying her plans for the big day. "I think I am going to see the Motown musical again, and maybe Aladdin." Franklin wasn't disappointed by Broadway's Motown musical. "Well it’s about Detroit, and I knew all the real people - Diana [Ross] and Marvin [Gaye] and Berry [Gordy] and Smokey [Robinson]. They do a great portrayal of those people."

I mention many of those performers, like Ms. Franklin, are still around performing today. "Yes," she nods, adding she’s not looking to retire anytime soon. "Why should I? I’m doing what I love and people love to hear us do it. I’ll always do it."

lr489 24th-Mar-2014 06:38 pm (UTC)
im not here for aretha's fucked up vocals ruining people barb's people. jennifer already killed a barbra song. i ain't here for a second murder.

Edited at 2014-03-24 06:45 pm (UTC)
knighter480 24th-Mar-2014 06:52 pm (UTC)
Bye maid. Don't come for Aretha when your fav aka J.LO was lip syncing on a singing competition (American Idol) last week.
lr489 24th-Mar-2014 06:57 pm (UTC)
first of all, suck it.

second of all, the only reason why she didnt sing live for the first time in idol is cuz mama has bronchitis. and even so managed to harmonized at the beginning of the song L I V E.

and lastly, suck it.
invernature 24th-Mar-2014 06:52 pm (UTC)
yasss ! u better stan sis

kwikimart 24th-Mar-2014 06:54 pm (UTC)
Nah she better cover Partition or idc
I wanna here her say "I don't need you seeing Retha on ha knees" so I can get my life and die at the same time
surfermedley 24th-Mar-2014 10:27 pm (UTC)
Can she see ha knees though? I'm asking for a friend.
_twenty 24th-Mar-2014 06:54 pm (UTC)

gorlplz 24th-Mar-2014 07:14 pm (UTC)
she should cover kween riri <3
prophecypro 25th-Mar-2014 01:45 am (UTC)
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