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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. 


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Stop speculating there were plenty of singers and it was a lovely service...Maybe she's singing at the private burial service today whatever happened I know Aretha had a good reason.

940 days ago


No TMZ didnt call Aretha out LMAO... she just didnt want to go & called in sick. Aretha said she had to make her coins.

940 days ago


Aretha is just “the greatest singer in all time” dixit, Mary J.Blige and me !

940 days ago


I have lost all respect for Aretha! She has come off as very self centered and heartless over the last few years. I hope Cissy doesn't go to Aretha's funeral when her time comes. Aretha is to old to be so untactful!

940 days ago


I have no words.

940 days ago


I think there is more to this story than is being told. There was just an interview that Aretha had with Al Roker where she was speaking of Bobby Brown and in a subtle way, defending him. Perhaps the family is upset. Leg spasms?! Really?!

940 days ago


Aretha needs to take a note from her song 'Respect' and act with some...She showed a great lack of respect for Whitney, Cissy, and Bobbi Kristina by not appearing at the funeral, especially considering she's Whitney's godmother. You don't agree to become a godmother and then take those responsibilities lightly. Not appearing at Whitney's funeral due to leg spasms, but then being able to sing that night on stage, is a very poor excuse, one that sounds more like, imo, that Aretha just couldn't be bothered. I'm sure all those concert-goers would have understood if the show had to be postponed for something like this. 'The show must go on' is NOT always the best way to go.

940 days ago

Reach Out Job Search far is the ride from New York City to Newark, NJ? EXACTLY 25 freaking minutes (per Google Maps).
Aretha, who travels by tour bus because she has a fear of flying, could have easily stretched out her LEGS on the BUS (which have rooms with beds build on them), walked into the service, sung the song, walked back out, got back on the TOUR BUS to rest & relax and been back in New York City in 25-30 minutes.
Her lack of attendance was indeed disrespectful in light of reviewing the facts...and that's the #TRUTH!

Also, she was on Piers Morgan the night prior to the service...but couldn't get up, have her tour bus her 25 minutes from NYC to Newark? Come on....

Now I see why Dionne called her out at the service. At first, I thought with the stress of the week of losing Whitney, Dionne just forgot. Smart move Dionne!!!

940 days ago

Seriously Annoyed    

I wondered how she was going to do it. I knew about the concert having been at RCMH recently. I think she should have shown up, not to perform, but to support her looooong time friends. You can't re-do a funeral. AAAANNNDDD Newark is only 30 minutes by car to RCMH. I wouldn't have let it pass me. Sick, or not sick.

940 days ago

Isabella Sarantakos    

That is so lame. Queen of Soul my ass!

940 days ago

Detective. LaToya    

No love in the entertainment business huh? See this is another example of how Whitney was all alone. Even her so called "friends" could care less about her. I think the only two people who cared about her was her mother and daughter.

Aretha's always been an uptight bitch so this isn't that shocking. Hey 'Retha hope someone calls in sick to your funeral too selfish fat bitch!

940 days ago


Aretha didn't have to stay for the entire funeral, especially if she wasn't feeling good, but she should have showed up if she was going to do the concert that same day.

940 days ago


Good God. It is her business and hers alone. Let's not analyze to death and spew hatred for no good reason. Her reason makes perfect sense to me. She can honor Whitney in her own way. It's not for us to decide. STFU TMZ.

940 days ago

I am Spartacus    

How anyone could say she should have canceled her concert is ridiculous. People paid to see her concert. It's not that big of a deal that she missed the funeral. The world doesn't stop because Whitney Houston died. Give me a break people. She was a singer, she didn't cure cancer.

People gotta stop getting out if control when these celebs die acting as if we need to spend the next month revolving our lives around d remembering them. Michael and Whitney were drug addicts, great talents, but drug addicts nonetheless.

940 days ago

d Mullen    

Maybe if she was paid to be at the funeral, she would have showed up.

940 days ago
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