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Aretha Franklin

0Watch This: Aretha’s Tribute to Whitney Houston

I was a little prickly that she didn’t bother to turn up at the Houston funeral as planned, never mind that she missed the private wake the night before (she had a concert at Radio City Music Hall to perform instead).

But Aretha Franklin—Houston’s godmother—performed no fewer than two Whitney tributes on Friday night.

Above, a clip of Aretha’s version of “The Greatest Love of All.” Too bad the video doesn’t land the entire song; I really like the arrangement, from what I heard anyway.

Her version of “I Will Always Love You” is short and sweet: Aretha only trills through the refrain a couple times, not even attempting Whitney’s version. Very restrained, very nice.

Aretha! All is forgiven!

February 19, 2012 at 10:30 am by Jenn

1Watch Whitney Houston’s Funeral Live; Aretha Franklin a No-Show

Live broadcast by Ustream

Funeral services for Whitney Houston have just begun, and CNN is covering the scene in Newark:

Hand-clapping choirs performed gospel standards Saturday as celebrities and parishioners filled the New Jersey sanctuary where singer Whitney Houston will be remembered through song, tears and praise to the Lord.

Oprah Winfrey, Mary J. Blige, Mariah Carey, Forest Whitaker, Spike Lee, Kevin Costner and Houston’s former husband, Bobby Brown, were among those who arrived shortly before the noon homegoing service at New Hope Baptist Church in Newark, where Houston got her start in the choir.


The service will feature performances by Stevie Wonder—singing one of his hits, “Ribbon in the Sky”—R&B star R. Kelly, Alicia Keys and gospel greats Kim Burrell and BeBe Winans.

The New Hope Baptist Church Mass Choir and the New Jersey Mass Choir will open the service. Pastor Marvin Winans will deliver the eulogy. Bishop T.D. Jakes will deliver remarks, along with Costner, Houston’s co-star in the movie “The Bodyguard;” her mentor, music mogul Clive Davis; and director-producer Tyler Perry.

Patricia Houston, the singer’s sister-in-law and former manager, will speak at the end of the service, followed by Houston’s cousin, singer Dionne Warwick, according to the program.

Multiple media outlets reported this morning that Aretha Franklin has cancelled her appearance at Houston’s funeral, as she began experiencing “foot and leg problems” last night.

Houston’s family and friends attended a private wake last night.

CNN is airing the funeral live on television and streaming on its website; the CBS Ustream is embedded above.

February 18, 2012 at 9:30 am by Jenn

12I Love the Kentucky Derby

I love the Kentucky Derby–not because of the horse racing. I could give a crap about horse racing– although I do love to hear Nancy O’Dell talk about how she chooses what horse to bet on based on how nice its ass is.

Equestrian junk-in-the-trunk aside, I love the Kentucky derby because it makes obscenely rich (and moderately famous) people put ridiculous things on their heads and stroll around for photo ops because, well, that’s just what one does on Derby Day. It’s the rich and famous version of peer pressure at its worst, and I love every minute of it.

Take a stroll through the photo gallery. You’ll find yourself asking questions like: Did a can of silly string explode on Lynn Whitfield’s head? Does Bobby Flay ever NOT look like a total prick? If I jump on Brooke Shields’ head, will I get an extra life?

In case you were wondering, a tiny, screaming, weeping, Creole lunatic riding a horse called “Mine That Bird” won the race today. God, I love the derby.

May 2, 2009 at 3:37 pm by Kelly