Soul queen Aretha Franklin has openly discussed her desire to become an “American Idol” judge, now that Steven Tyler and Jennifer Lopez have left the show. On Monday, “Today Show” co-hosts Kathy Lee Gifford and Hoda Kotb made some comments about the idea, and showed little R-E-S-P-E-C-T for Franklin.
Gifford gave hints that “American Idol” viewers might not know much about Franklin, considering her heyday is long past. Franklin is, after all, 70 (Gifford is no spring chicken, either, as she is 58).
Gifford said: “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.”
That is, of course, despite the fact that Franklin songs such as “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman” are often performed on the show.
During the diss session, E!’s Jason Kennedy, who was discussing the issue with Gifford and Kotb, said that Franklin hates flying and, thus, might not make it to auditions.
Franklin responded in an email that CNN managed to obtain. She wrote:
“While I enjoy Kathie Lee and Hoda 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 [similar to the bus that former NFL analyst John Madden used during his years].
“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!”
One thing of note, though, was that Franklin seemed ready to only commit to one or two seasons of “Idol,” and we’d bet the show would love to stop the “musical chairs” among the judges (although some of that is their own fault; i.e. firing people).
Franklin said, “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.”
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