Thursday, February 14, 2008


"Find out what it means to me / R-E-S-P-E-C-T / Take care of TCB / Sock it to me"

This song came on the radio as I was driving back from lunch today. I turned it up and sang along with gusto, thinking, "Damn, I love me some Aretha Franklin."

And then I read this: Franklin miffed at Beyoncé's Grammy salute. You see, Beyoncé had introduced Tina Turner as the "one legend who has the essence... the glamour, the soul, the passion, the strength, the talent" of such luminaries as Sarah Vaughan, Diana Ross, and Aretha herself. She rightly called Miss Tina "the Queen". I mean, really. Who else in the world could have ROCKED that cropped silver lamé pantsuit? Nobody, that's who!

Apparently, Aretha Franklin was not amused. She has been called "the Queen of Soul" for years and she did not care for Miss Tina to be Queen of anything, even if Miss Tina's official title is the Queen of Rock and Roll. Totally separate kingdom. So she issued a public statement calling the tribute "a cheap shot for controversy".

Oh, Miss Aretha. The only controversy here is that your behavior does not befit someone of your considerable stature. You are Aretha Mothafriggin' Franklin! Why would you stoop to this?

Did you forget that just two days before the Grammys, you were named "Person of the Year" by MusiCares? You didn't see Miss Tina come out with a statement against that, did you? My mother always taught me to call ladies "Miss" as a sign of respect. I don't know if I can rightly call you "Miss Aretha" anymore.

Miss Tina is no doubt happily ensconced in her castle in Switzerland by now and has probably never even heard about this nonsense. So there's only one more legend to implore: Miss Eartha Kitt, please stay classy over in your little kingdom of Slinky Sass. I adore you and I can't bear another broken heart.

"R-E-S-P-E-C-T" by the former Miss Aretha Franklin
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