Our TV Shows

Got a Tip?

Call TMZ at (888) 847-9869 or Click Here

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. 


No Avatar

Aretha doesn't fly or travel by boat. She has life long phobias. But, go ahead and shame her. Geeez!

921 days ago


I saw an interview she gave after Whitneys death she seemed very upset over it .And said she had been asked to sing and didn't know yet what she was going to sing at Whitneys home going service, she was still trying to decide. I really think it was too much for her. Dion seemed out of it and didn't sing either. They're both getting up there in years. I just think it was too much for her.

921 days ago


Aretha it really was not about you, don't say that you will do something and then you cancel out. How dare you perform in a state away (NY)from the funeral the same night! Did you forget what "Godmother" really mean? Or did you just wanted the title because it was Whitney Houston?

921 days ago


Think we need to quit being so judgemental - we don't know everything involved so why should we be passing judgement?

921 days ago

"Aretha suffers from a fear of flying that has affected her schedules. She has declined attending her Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame induction and was sued for breach of contract in 1984 when she was unable to star in the Broadway musical “Sing, Mahalia, Sing,” both mainly because of her FEAR OF FLYING."

921 days ago


This fat holier than thou evil gobble neck jealous woman is too much. Wasn't she going to wobble her lard azz down the aisle a few months ago? She was jealous of Whitney b/c she only had two hits: Respect and Freeway. She should be ASHAMED of herself for missing her GODCHILD's funeral. BIATCH.

921 days ago


Aretha is a NOBODY - just an old, ugly, talentless tub of lard!!! Who cares if she didn't get her fat ars to the funeral? She's a side-show circus act, and her hideous appearance would have been a carnival-like distraction! She's probably stuffing her fat, old face while reading these comment. Go choke on a chicken bone Aretha you piece of garbage!!

921 days ago


Did Aretha not realize the public backlash she was going to get by not attending Whitney's funeral and still doing a concert that evening (standing and not sitting, nonetheless)? If she was going to bail, she should have come up with a better excuse other than having "leg problems" like she was overcome with emotion or something. Aretha should be ashamed of herself and her PR people should be shot.

921 days ago


If she committed to being there, she could have at least made an appearance via satellite. No need to travel anywhere, no singing needed, just a few words. She shouldn’t have agreed in the first place!

921 days ago


Aretha it really was not about you, don't say that you will do something and then you cancel out. How dare you perform in a state away (NY)from the funeral the same night! Did you forget what "Godmother" really mean? Or did you just wanted the title because it was Whitney Houston?

921 days ago


Ain't No Way....a godmother of any compassion.class,or couth who loved her "godchild", would show such callous insensitivity and selfish, greedy behavior by doing two paid concerts and skipping Whitney's funeral--even to sit. Disgraceful, inexcusable, and shameful. I'm sure her daughter and Cissy must be hurt beyond words, and am certain Dionne will have more than a few choice words for "Aunt Ree", as Whitney called her. I will NEVER buy another of her recordings, and encourage "former fans" to inundate the fan club site of the former "Queen of Soul" with blasts of outrage. Shame, Aunt Ress, Shame on YOU!! Did you really need the $$ THAT badly, at your age??

921 days ago


I am sure that there is more to the story.
Fatso need every dime she can get her chubby fingers on.
Can you imagine how much she spends on groceries?

921 days ago


I agree! Who does that? There is no excuse for this, NONE!

921 days ago

Fools Rush In    

Aretha's concert Friday and Saturday was at Radio City Music Hall in Manhattan, very close to Newark at 15 miles away. On a Saturday, her limo or town car would not even run into much in the way of traffic in either direction. Come to perform, hug the family and leave, if necessary.

The service went on for hours, she could have fit it in after the tons of free publicity she got out of her scheduled performance for Whitney at the service. She spares no opportunity to refer to herself as Whitney's "Aunt Ree."

Here is what the Washington Post had to say about Aretha's physical and emotional being last night as she performed at her concert at RCMH, including singing "I Will Always Love You."

On Saturday, the 69-year-old looked young enough to joke about a man who had mistaken her for being in her 50s. She danced and shimmied, kicked off her heels and paced the stage barefoot, and even smirked and gave herself a couple of satisfied pats on the rear.

921 days ago

Reach Out Job Search    

This is going to be my last comment on this subject. First, stop making excuses for Aretha Franklin. Look, a person doesn't appear on a "going home service" program without agreeing to show up. If Aretha was lost (i.e.-couldn't find the church) that would be one thing but, she made a CHOICE not to go.

As for the leg issues....supposedly (dipping sarcasm). They were all-fine by her concert performance at Radio City Music Hall in the evening.

Per the article in today's... Washington Post...Aretha was up during the concert dancing, jumping around an SINGING at the same time.

Amazing right? So, she couldn't have her TOUR BUS driver, drive 25 minutes from NYC to Newark, walk in the church, sing a song/pay respects and walk back on the TOUR BUS (with a room/bed/amenities) to ride 25 minutes back to NYC. Sorry folks, (as my late Father used to say) "Calling the dogs and sending the hogs home", something doesn't smell right here.

It was very disrespectful considering Aretha took the TIME this week to do....not one but TWO television interviews about the death of Whitney. The first on the Today show and second on Piers Morgan on Friday night....ironically the night prior to Whitney's service. Come on folks....that's just plain tacky, especially when you don't show up to a service you AGREED to appear at.

Ok, she wasn't her Godmother....this has been established. Regardless Aretha was a close family friend. Whitney respectful referred to her as "Aunt Re". With that, YOU (ARETHA) show up at your "Niece" service if you are only 25 minutes away, period. The excuses don't fly! Aretha Franklin totally disrespected the Houston family.

One more point....Aretha COULD HAVE done the service appearance AND her concert at Radio City Music Hall. Remember....the concert was in the EVENING. Bobby Brown managed the same (he had a concert Saturday evening with New Edition).

Why couldn't Aretha do the same?


921 days ago
Previous 15 Comments | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | Most Recent | Next 15 Comments

Around The Web