It's a dark day. The woman who crafted the best assessment of Taylor Swift that has ever been verbalized has made nice with the perpetually perky singer-songwriter. Why, Aretha? Why?
I can't recall a public performance more divisive than Aretha Franklin's cover of Adele's "Rolling in the Deep" on the Sept. 29 episode of The Late Show with David Letterman. The conversations I had about it fell into two distinct camps: those who loved and those who hated it. Both were adamant. One person on the latter side suggested that anyone who posted praise of it was just traffic-whoring. One person on the former side jokingly called for a ban on opinions, specifically of those who suggested that Franklin's vocals on the studio version of "Deep" had been sweetened with Auto-tune .
This morning, the Queen of Soul/Surly Auntie of Pop Culture, Aretha Franklin, was beamed via satellite into a dozen or so different local and cable morning shows in a junket to promote her upcoming Aretha Franklin Sings the Great Diva Classics album (featuring her divisive cover of Adele's "Rolling in the Deep"). As a result of the satellite delay, Franklin's faulty earpiece, her lack of sleep, and her general does-not-give-a-fuck-ness, a comedy of errors ensued. Highlights are above.
Audio of the purse-carrying gift from heaven Aretha Franklin's cover of Adele's "Rolling in the Deep" (with a twist of "Ain't No Mountain High Enough") made the rounds on the internet yesterday. Later, she tore the roof off David Letterman's studio when she performed the medley on the Late Show (it's the first release off her upcoming Aretha Franklin Sings The Great Diva Classics album). While her voice has noticably aged and isn't quite as acrobatic as it once was, the woman can still wail. Her pipes remain among our country's greatest natural resources.
This weekend, a News Nerd story with the headline "Patti Labelle Arrested After Fist Fight with Aretha Franklin" made the rounds. As of right now, the post has been shared 1,700 times on Twitter and 41,000 times on Facebook. People gleefully spread the news that these ladies of soul, elegance, and attitude came to blows. Of course, if people thought for a second, "That's ridiculous! I've never heard of the News Nerd. Can I trust this source?" and then checked the site's home page, they would have seen more ridiculous headlines and a disclaimer at the bottom of the screen:
Some went through the stages of grief when word emerged that Beyoncé lip-synched "The Star Spangled Banner" at Monday's Presidential Inauguration. Aretha Franklin, the Queen of Soul and Saying Weird Things in Public from Time to Time (remember the Kathie Lee beef of 2012?), however, was tickled by the news and may emulate Beyoncé going forward. Or something. Franklin told ABCNews.com that she thought King Bey "did a beautiful job," adding (and here's the weird part):