Perhaps Today co-host Kathie Lee Gifford didn't get the memo, but when the Queen of Soul expresses interest in becoming a judge on American Idol, then you have to R-E-S-P-E-C-T her plan. Aretha Franklin on Tuesday responded to comments from Kathie, who, during Monday's installment of Today, implied that Aretha might not be a good fit for the American Idol judges panel.
Kathie noted that young viewers of the Fox show might not recognize Ms. Franklin, saying that if producers "are looking for a younger demographic, there are a lot of kids out there [who] actually don't know who Aretha Franklin is. It's sad, but they don't."
E! correspondent Jason Kennedy, who was also on Today, chimed in on the Aretha discussion, saying, " She doesn't like to fly and that will make it hard for her to travel across the country for auditions."
In an email to CNN, Aretha countered those statements, writing, "While I enjoy Kathie Lee and Hoda [Kotb] daily, her assessment is totally wrong! I've been to California from Detroit four times this year and Florida. I go wherever I choose to go comfortably on my custom bus."
As for the generation gap that Kathie spoke of, Aretha writes, "Further, my audience and fans span the age of 8 to 90! And are multi-ethnic, and I am very well known to young adults, tweens and teens. Their parents play my music and I take care of my business whenever I sign on the dotted line!"
Though Aretha says she's still enjoys watching Today, she writes, "I'm surprised Kathie Lee did not research my worldwide celebrity audience! She's usually right on top of things with a great sense of humor, but she's totally wrong this time." Aretha adds, "She should research me before she speaks about me."
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