Aretha Franklin Checks Kathie Lee: ‘I’m Not Too Old for ‘Idol’’

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  • Aretha Franklin has fired back against Kathie Lee Gifford and her “Today” fourth hour co-host Hoda Hotb for their remarks regarding her offer to be a judge on “American Idol” next season.

    Gifford suggested that “Idol” viewers have no idea who she is, or know anything about her musical legacy.

    “If they are looking for a younger demographic, there are a lot of kids out there (who) actually don’t know who Aretha Franklin is. It’s sad, but they don’t,” Gifford said.

    Adding fuel to the fire, E! correspondent Jason Kennedy noted that the 70-year-old "Queen of Soul" doesn’t like to fly and may not make it to auditions.

    Franklin promptly sent an e-mail to CNN in her defense.

    “While I enjoy Kathie Lee and Hoda daily, her assessment is totally wrong!” wrote the 18-time Grammy winner. “I’ve been to California from Detroit four times this year and Florida. I go wherever I choose to go comfortably on my custom bus.”

    Franklin especially took offense that she is too old for the ‘Idol’ audience, and insists her fans are multi-generational.

    “My audience and fans span the age of eight to 90! And are multi-ethnic, and I am very well known to young adults, tweens and teens. Their parents play my music and I take care of my business whenever I sign on the dotted line,” she said. “I’m surprised Kathie Lee did not research my worldwide celebrity audience! She’s usually right on top of things with a great sense of humor, but she’s totally wrong this time. She should research me before she speaks about me. I’m sure she thought she was right; still enjoy Hoda and Kathie Lee!”

    Franklin reiterated that she is serious about her intentions to judge the show and suggested her presence will invigorate the process for more than one season.

    “I could enjoy being a judge for a season or two. Let’s kick it up a few notches and have a slammin’, jammin’ season,” she wrote.
     

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