Unhappy R&B legend Aretha Franklin is not holding her breathe. On Tuesday, the longtime Queen of Soul slammed Beyonce Knowles’ sexified intro to Tina Turner at Sunday’s Grammy Awards, in which Knowles called Turner, not Franklin, “the queen.” “I am not sure of whose toes I may have stepped on or whose ego I may have bruised between the Grammy writers and Beyonce,” Franklin said in a statement issued by her publicist. “However, I dismissed it as a cheap shot for controversy.” E-mails to Knowles’ publicist were not immediately returned. In the first few seconds of Knowles’ intro to Turner’s performance, she name-dropped Franklin and a long list of famed female singers. Then the superstar R&B songstress changed her focus to Turner. “There is one legend who has the essence of all of those things: the glamour, the soul, the passion, the strength, the talent,” said Knowles, strutting in hot pants. “Ladies and gentlemen. Stand on your feet and give it up for the queen.” At a party later that night, Knowles called Turner her “ultimate icon.” Still, Franklin ended her brief criticism on a gracious note, thanking the Grammys and the voting academy and saying, “love to Beyonce anyway.” Known for such hits as “Respect” and “Chain of Fools,” Franklin tied with the Clark Sisters for best gospel performance trophy for her duet “Never Gonna Break My Faith” with Mary J. Blige.
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