Aretha Franklin to Kathie Lee Gifford: “I’m Not Too Old for ‘American Idol!'”
Aretha Franklin will have you know that she is not too old to give aspiring singers the Simon Cowell treatment on the next season of American Idol.
Thank you very much.
At the ripe old age of 70 years young, the Queen of Soul has thrown her hat into the ring as a potential judge on the aging talent show. Rumor has it that Fox execs are looking to revamp the series and rescue it from a ratings slump following the recent departures of judges Steven Tyler and Jennifer Lopez.
Aretha thinks she’s just the lady for the job.
“Yes I am interested as a judge,” the “Respect” singer told Reuters over the weekend.
Of course, there are already a host of critics lining up to point out the obvious generational gap that could come with her appointment.
And that makes Ree Ree a very unhappy lady. Franklin has fired back against Kathie Lee Gifford and her Today fourth hour co-host Hoda Kotb for their remarks regarding her offer to judge American Idol next season.
Gifford suggested that younger Idol viewers have no idea who she is or know anything about her musical legacy.
“If they 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.”
The 18-time Grammy winner promptly sent an e-mail to CNN in her defense:
“While I enjoy Kathie Lee and Hoda daily, her assessment is totally wrong…My audience and fans span the age of eight 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. 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. She should research me before she speaks about me. I’m sure she thought she was right; still enjoy Hoda and Kathie Lee! I could enjoy being a judge for a season or two. Let’s kick it up a few notches and have a slammin’, jammin’ season.”