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Aretha Franklin

Calls in Sick to Whitney's Funeral

But Performs Hours Later

2/19/2012 7:20 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF

Aretha Franklin canceled her scheduled appearance at the Whitney Houston funeral service.
Aretha Franklin canceled her scheduled appearance at Whitney Houston's funeral service in New Jersey yesterday afternoon ... but was well enough to perform at Radio City Music Hall that night.

Aretha said she had been suffering from leg spasms and wanted to rest up for her show, rather than travel for the funeral. She released a statement, saying in part, "heart goes out to my dear friend Cissy, Dionne, Bobbi Kristina and the rest of the family. May God keep them all."

The Queen of Soul dedicated a portion of her show to Whitney, and also to Nick Ashford, who passed away last August. 

468 COMMENTS

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136.

debbiedoesnothing    

One more thing - you all need to remember that Aretha is getting old and has a helluva lot of health problems. She wouldn't agree to do the service and then fake being sick.

890 days ago
137.

missburdines    

The problem is some people get too emotionaal over things, without thinking it thru. That's a fact! You evidently, don't understand about contracts and brokage arrangements. It seems,You have no idea what a Sat nite crowd is like at Radio City Hall. It's SRO, at a tremendous cost. Broadway entertainment is expensive. The mininium price ticket averages almost a "week's salary." ARETHA would have been sued for sure and "blacklisted."
So sad to hear you speak so negatively about ARETHA, how quickly we forget our Icons contributions. Aretha was on the front line of the Civil Rights Struggle with Dr Martin King, song at most of the rallies in the evil, dangerous south. Gave her money and time to the struggle, when it wasn't safe. Had strong "pipes" to sing and was "the Voice" in those days. She had her own pains and problems to overcome in her life. No, it wasn't drugs....but we of her generation knows how she was Used and Abused.
But, she survived, by the Grace of GOD. NOW, that she is old and sickly you speak so unkind about her.
But, Aretha, Dionne, Diana Ross, Nancy Wilson,Dorothy Dandrige, Lena Horne, Carmen McCrae,Dina Washington, Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughn,TinaTurner and others OPENED all the Entertainment Doors, that was shut tighly to Black Singers.
Doors that Whitney, Alicia K, Brandy,Beyonce,etc are NOW Walking into Boldly and Proudly.
Don't make rash judgements about people motives, because You don't know what they are going thru. And, I'm sure Cissy and Dionne knows Aretha, and her health limitations.

ILOVE YOU AND LET US CONTINUE TO LOVE EACH OTHER! DON'T LET THESE RUMOR MONGERS, AND PRO CRITICS SEPERATE YOU TO SELL THEIR STORIES!

890 days ago
138.

SallyChi    

Tell me this #137 & TMZ: How did you feel about Clive Davis NOT cancelling the pre-Grammy party while Whitney was dead in the hotel room?

890 days ago
139.

SallyChi    

Well, i guess she could have cancelled and rescheduled, but if people have paid $100-200 she felt an obligation to those people. And if Aretha is diabetic, she could jeopardize her health. I'm diabetic and I have leg cramps very bad. They can cause a blood clot, and other issues. It's called "the show must go on".
Knowing about Aretha, her schedule is pretty packed. Not only that, she has an obligation to her band and employees.

890 days ago
140.

Bea    

she knows something we don't know....there has to be a reason she is not supporting this family

890 days ago
141.

debbiedoesnothing    

Oh, hell, while I'm on a roll - Whitney let a whole lot of people down the last several years of her life with all her drinking and drugging. She canceled appearances, she showed up at appearances too drunk or drugged to perform up to even an average performer's standards, and you can only imagine how many things she did to hurt the people close to her. She caused other people to lose work and her music label and promoters to lose money. She got into stupid drunken fights with people like Stacy Francis. And she has a young daughter who will be permanently scarred from growing up that way.

I'm not saying she didn't deserve a nice memorial service, but if you want to talk about disrespect - the way Whitney treated her family, friends, coworkers and fans was truly disrespectful.

890 days ago
142.

Randi Rose    

As far as I know, you only die once. Aretha should have been at the funeral, especially being the "God Mother". She has many shows to come, Im sure. BAD FORM, Aretha

890 days ago
143.

supermom    

All Aretha showed was D-I-S-R-E-S-P-E-C-T to the Houston family. She's such a diva...only cares about herself!

890 days ago
144.

tmzfan    

I agree! Aretha is an ungrateful...overrated... one-hit-wonder. Whitney thought the world of Aretha (i.e. she even included images of Aretha in her "How Will I Know" video 4:00 min mark). I don't like Dionne much...but KUDOS to her for calling Aretha out. You know Dionne knew B4 the funeral Aretha wasn't coming...but announced her anyway to make a point. IMO Aretha could have done both...funeral was over at 330...concert was at 8pm only 13 miles away! Shameful!

890 days ago
145.

NicTheBanker    

I wasn't going to comment in an effort to be nonjudgmental, but I just can't hold it in. Aretha is so wrong!! Pastor Winans said it best yesterday during Whitney's funeral, we need to prioritize. You don't put business before God or family. Whitney DIED for heavens sake, she wasn't sick at home with a cold. If Aretha could find the time to do interviews about Whitney, why couldn't she find the time to pay her final respects? There were people at the funeral who only knew Whitney for a year. Aretha had known Whitney since she was a child. And the cherry on top was Aretha dancing and shimming at her concert the VERY same day! I had always heard that Aretha was not a nice person, but this incident confirms it. The phobia excuse that some folks are using is just ridiculous. Maybe Aretha should develop a phobia of food. Unbelievable! I never understood the big hoopla over Aretha's singing anyway. She always just average to me.

890 days ago
146.

Olivia    

Aretha Franklin should be ashamed of herself! It's one thing to be ill, but it sounds like Aretha simply didn't feel like attending Whitney’s funeral. She apparently was well enough to perform at a concert the night before the funeral and just a few hours after the funeral. Obviously, she values $$$ and hawking her new CD more than her alleged “goddaughter.” Where is the R-E-S-P-E-C-T for Whitney?! What a disgrace!!! People should boycott her concerts. What a self-centered, horrid woman.

890 days ago
147.

Cassandra Burckhalter    

Based on Dionne’s reaction at the homegoing service, it appears they were not informed in advance that she would not be present to sing. I can assure you, had this been a commitment she made to the Obama’s, spasm or no spasm, Aretha would have shown up to perform.

890 days ago
148.

B.Bradley    

I always felt that Aretha was not strong enough to perform at Whitney's Funeral.

890 days ago
149.

SallyChi    

http://www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=7399322n

After watching this video you can see that Aretha is frail.

890 days ago
150.

monicamoton    

some people just can not handle funerals well. but Ms. Franklin should not have agreed to sing at the funeral, if she knew she had a concert the same day. that is a lot on a woman of that age.

890 days ago
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