Aretha Franklin was a shady diva. The Queen of Soul has a reputation dating back years for her snide remarks to fellow singers and public figures. Not many have the fondest memories of the “RESPECT” vocalist, and it has almost resulted in physical altercations a few times. Let’s take a look at some of Ms. Franklin’s shadiest moments.
Aretha was never one to mince words regarding her opinion of others. While she is no longer with it, social media has kept her memory alive in resurfaced interviews of her doing what she does best. While talking with the Wall Street Journal in 2014, Aretha was asked to give her opinion on some of music’s current divas. The interview was meant to be a quick response type where she said the first thing that came to mind. When asked her opinion on country-pop sensation, Taylor Swift, Franklin iconically responded, “Great gowns, beautiful gowns.” The answer sparked memes that are circulating to this day. When it came to Nicki Minaj, Franklin struggled to muster anything nice and responded, “Nicki Minaj, hmm … now I’m gonna pass on that one.”
Regarding Patti LaBelle, Aretha always seemed to have an issue with her. During the same year, she gave us “beautiful gowns,” Aretha also attended a White House event for Women of Soul. While walking to the stage for her number, Franklin was warm and smiling at the people lining her pathway. However, when she reached Patti LaBelle, all she offered her was a stiff look up and down before moving forward. Patti cleared up later on Drink Champs, calling it all a misunderstanding.
“The time that she did the White House, she wasn’t feeling great,” Patti told N.O.R.E. “After the White House, we spoke on the phone. She called me because she wanted to have her items in Walmart.” Patti has a great relationship with the chain, which houses her line of desserts. “We talked about food; we talked about recording together this is after the White House.”
Aretha sat down with shock jock Wendy Williams for an interview on her talk show during one of its early seasons. During the discussion, Franklin threw several shady digs at Williams, joking that Williams could not afford the bill for their dinner because she was not making enough money yet. When Williams implied that Franklin might still be gullible when it comes to love, Franklin clapped back, saying, “You be stupid. Not me.”
T-Boz says she caught Franklin’s bitchy side early on in her career. During a ceremony celebrating music, Aretha was supposed to stand on a podium next to T-Boz. For whatever reason, Franklin did not want to stand next to her and asked that her podium be moved.
T-Boz, who was still in her tomboy phase, decided to wear something sexy for the event. When she walked out on stage after Aretha, the crowd gasped at how nice she looked. Aretha then says, “You think she looks good? I used to look like that but better.” T-Boz says it took seeing her mother’s worried face in the crowd to remind her to keep it together and not hit Aretha.
Aretha Frankin, who died Aug. 16, 2018, at the age of 76, was just 18 years old in 1960 (pictured) when she set out to become a professional singer. What followed was an unparalleled and legendary career that saw her crowned the Queen of Soul.
Author: Bunmi Johnson
New York, USA