Aretha Franklin Makes Case Why She Should Be ‘Idol’ Judge

CNN’s Roland Martin got his hands on an email from the Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin, who was not pleased with Kathie Lee Gifford of the Today Show for suggesting that Franklin was too old to be a judge on American Idol.

On the show, Gifford said today’s young people wouldn’t know who Franklin was—even with her 18 Grammy Awards.

“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,” Gifford said.

The Today crew than suggested that  Aretha Franklin wouldn’t be able to fly across the country for the Idol auditions because she doesn’t like to fly.

A few hours later, Franklin responded in an e-mail, exclusively obtained by CNN.

“While I enjoy Kathie Lee and Hoda daily, her assessment is totally wrong!” Franklin wrote.

“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.

“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!

“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!”

As for be a judge on “Idol,” Franklin made it clear she’s up for the task.

“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,” she wrote.

Back to top