R-E-S-P-E-C-T is what Soul Queen Aretha Franklin, 72, sings and slings, but not everyone in contemporary music is getting the love. Or the scourge of new music, autotune, for that matter.
Franklin’s new historic album, Aretha Franklin Sings the Great Diva Classics, includes covers of Adele and Alicia Keys songs. The Detroit Queen of Soul had some positive comments for British singer Adele, who she tells the Wall Street Journal “[Adele] is a young performer, good singer” and for New York wunderkind Alicia Keys “[Alicia] is a good writer producer.” However the pop country darling mogul Taylor Swift, who at age 24 is one of the richest people in music, Aretha quietly nodded, “Ok great gowns, beautiful gowns.” As for the late Whitney Houston she tells the WSJ, “Whitney was a talent … and Cissie’s baby.” And the Anaconda queen? Aretha says, “Nicki Minaj … hmmm, I’m gonna pass on that.”
When asked about the ubiquitous autotune, she scoffed, “What is autotune? I don’t even know what autotune is,” Franklin said when asked of her opinion on pop and hip hop stars using autotune to blend and enhance their vocals. “That’s ridiculous.”