Aretha Franklin

  1. Aretha Franklin Tribute

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    Video caption: Queenie and the Band performing at the NST city tonight!
  2. Stage director to work on Aretha Franklin biopic

    Deadline Hollywood

    Jennifer Hudson and Liesl Tommy
    Image caption: Jennifer Hudson and Liesl Tommy

    South African-born US theatre director Liesl Tommy will direct a new biopic, Respect, about the Queen of Soul - Deadline reports.

    Director Liesl became the first black woman to earn a Tony Award nomination for best direction of a play for 2016's Eclipsed.

    She said in a statement: “The story of Aretha Franklin’s journey from child prodigy in Detroit to international supernova is rife with struggle and triumph, making her life one of the great American stories of all time."

    Oscar-winning Dreamgirls star Jennifer Hudson - currently working in the UK on the new series of The Voice - was apparently handpicked by Aretha herself for the role, before her death in August last year, aged 76.

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    Hudson performed an emotional rendition of Amazing Grace at Aretha's funeral (see above) in Detroit; where other performers included Stevie Wonder, Smokey Robinson and Ariana Grande.

    We reported on it live at the time and you can relive the event as it happened.

    Another Academy Award winner is involved in the new biopic in the form of Thelma & Louise screenwriter Callie Khouri.

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    Aretha Franklin
    Image caption: Aretha Franklin
  3. Aretha Franklin: Amazing Grace gospel film to premiere after 46 years

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    Video caption: Aretha Franklin: In her own words

    A long-awaited Aretha Franklin documentary will premiere in New York City - 46 years after being filmed.

    Amazing Grace was shot by director Sydney Pollack in 1972, but it spent decades in an unedited form.

    Years of legal complications followed, and now it will finally debut at the DOC NYC festival on 12 November, with the support of the singer's estate.

    The Queen of Soul - known for hits like Respect and Think - died of cancer in August, aged 76 and was given a star-studded send off.

    The film was only finished in 2011 because of technical problems, After that, Franklin and her lawyers blocked the film's release repeatedly, once suing producer Alan Elliot for using her likeness without her permission.

    Legal clearance finally came after the singer's death, when her family members were open to seeing the film.

    Check out a trailer of Amazing Grace over at Vimeo.

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  4. Gladys Knight honours Aretha Franklin with AMA gospel tribute

    Gladys Knight

    More from the American Music Awards now, where a Motown legend paid a musical tribute to the late Queen of Soul.

    Gladys Knight closed the show by fronting a gospel tribute to the star, who died in August, aged 76.

    The singer, who rose to fame in the 70s with her band The Pips, was joined onstage by Ledisi, Mary Mary, Donnie McClurkin and CeCe Winans for all-star medley, which began with a rendition of the spiritual classic Amazing Grace.

    Gladys was a close personal friend of Aretha's and previously sang the anthem, You'll Never Walk Alone, at her funeral in August.

    Read more: Aretha's funeral as-it-happened.

  5. Franklin family found Pastor's eulogy 'distasteful'

    Jasper Williams

    Aretha Franklin's nephew has said the family found an Atlanta pastor's eulogy delivered at the Queen of Soul's funeral on Friday to be offensive and distasteful.

    Reverend Jasper Williams Jr. was criticised on social media for his 50-minute address, describing children being in a home without a father as "abortion after birth".

    He also said black lives do not matter unless blacks stop killing each other, prompting Stevie Wonder - there to perform - to yell out, "Black lives matter!"

    "We found the comments to be offensive and distasteful," said Vaughn Franklin (pictured below far-right), who said his aunt never requested Williams to deliver a eulogy.

    "At no time did he properly eulogise her."

    Cristal, Victorie, Jordan and Vaughn Franklin speak during Aretha Franklin"s funeral

    Rev Williams was invited as he had spoken at other family memorials in the past including the funeral for Aretha's father, C.L. Franklin.

    Since the ceremony, Williams hasn't backed down from his comments - which suggested a black woman cannot raise a black boy to be a man - saying he respected the family's opinion.

    "I understand it, regret it. But I'm sorry they feel that way."

    Some people suggested his speech was disrespectful of Aretha, a single mother of four boys.

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    Video caption: Aretha Franklin: Family and friends remember the Queen of Soul

    Former President Bill Clinton and music legend Smokey Robinson were among the speakers at her funeral.

  7. Aretha covered an Adele hit on her final album

    Adele

    Her last album, 2014's Aretha Franklin Sings the Great Diva Classics saw the soul icon take on hits by the likes of Etta James, Sinead O'Connor, The Supremes and many more.

    She also performed a song by the UK's own Grammy-winning soulful pop star, Adele.

    Rolling in the Deep contains one swear word so we can't bring it to you here but you can find it on Aretha's YouTube channel.

    Following Aretha's death, Adele wrote on social media:

    "I can’t remember a day of my life without Aretha Franklin’s voice and music filling up my heart with so much joy and sadness.

    "Absolutely heartbroken she’s gone, what a woman. Thank you for everything, the melodies and the movements."

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