SOUL RECKLESS 08: Aretha, Beyonce, Tina ‘Queen’d Out’

While people were surprised with Aretha Franklin’s disdain for Beyonce calling Tina Turner the Queen at the 2008 Grammy Awards, those who are all too familiar with the Queen of Soul know Aretha is Aretha’s favorite singer. In 2001, Franklin appeared on VH1’s Divas Live Special, when asked who her favorite singer was the Queen of Soul responded “I am”. Therefore in 2008 it should come as no surprise that the Queen is…well, the Queen and no one else is worthy of that title. The three way diva showdown kicked off at the 50th Annual Grammy Awards in February where Beyonce paid tribute to several divas during an introductory that would be followed by Tina Turner. Celebrating Turner’s big comeback this year, which included a well attended tour in the fall, Beyonce made the mistake of calling Tina Turner a Queen and Aretha Franklin, not at all enthused, demanded some R-E-S-P-E-C-T. Quoted after the show, Franklin accused Beyonce and the Grammy writers of courting controversy: “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, however I dismissed it as a cheap shot for controversy. In addition to that, I thank the Grammys and the voting academy for my 20th Grammy and love to Beyonce anyway.” According to a statement released through CelebTV, Beyonce’s father Matthew Knowles wasn’t feeling that. Knowles rang the alarm and said: “As a manager I am not taking something this ridiculous to Beyonce. Beyonce referred to Tina Turner as a queen. Not a queen of gospel, queen of soul, queen of blues, Queen of England.” In other words go somewhere with that Aretha! Knowles went on to say “I consider my wife a queen and sometimes call her that. Does Aretha have a problem with that ?” Just when we thought the Grammy flap was over Tina Turner went for round 2, stating Aretha’s always been like that. “Aretha has always been like that. We’ve always accepted that from her. She’s the queen of soul and I’m the queen of rock n’ roll. Her ego must be so big to think she was the only one.” Hearing about Tina’s title, Aretha issued the ultimate and final blow “I have always appreciated what Tina Turner has to offer and had quietly cheered her on after Ike and her subsequent success. However, with respect to her statement concerning my ego clearly she was talking about herself as she described herself as the ‘Queen of Rock’ and saying ‘that’s what Queens do’ – particularly since she does not have a clue as to who I am in view of the fact that we have never met.” “I never figured her to resort to tacky press just to sell a few tickets. I understand and I know that the concert market is down where ticket sales are concerned. I really had put her in a different class – higher than that.” “Finally, no one has been more gracious or complimentary to their peers than I have and I am confident and secure enough to do so, unlike some others. I wish Ms. Turner all the best, as I always have. Perhaps one day we will meet.” That was the end, at least hopefully it is. While we have covered the ‘Grammy Queen Flap’ in somewhat of a light way, each of the aforementioned divas have a special place in music, title or not, they are leading women in the industry regardless of what has been said and done in 2008. It is however, quite odd that Aretha and Tina have not ‘met’ …


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