It’s been said that if you don’t have anything nice to say, you shouldn’t say anything at all. And it seems Aretha Franklin is sticking to that advice.
Usually one to tell it like it is, the Queen of Soul stayed pretty tight-lipped in a recent The Wall Street Journal interview when asked about her opinions of some fellow divas in the music industry, particularly Nicki Minaj.
“Nicki Minaj. Hm… I’m going to pass on that one,” Franklin said when asked to describe the “Anaconda” rapper’s musical talent, though she did comment favorably on Adele, Alicia Keys and others. Franklin’s new historic album, Aretha Franklin Sings the Great Diva Classics, includes covers of Adele and Alicia Keys songs. Meanwhile, Taylor Swift got a comment on her gowns rather than her singing.
Franklin also passed on the opportunity to speak on President Obama’s two terms as president.
“It’s really not for me to say,” she said to interviewer, Christopher John Farley when asked how she felt the president has done.
She didn’t withhold all of her opinions, though. Franklin scoffed at the idea of using technology to enhance her powerful vocals.
“What is autotune? I don’t even know what autotune is,” Franklin said when asked of her opinion on rising stars using autotune to enhance their range. “That’s ridiculous.”
She was also very outspoken about her distaste for David Ritz’s new controversial unauthorized biography of the singer, which paints her in a not-so-flattering light. Ritz, who worked with Franklin on her 1999 autobiography From These Roots, said he wrote this new book, Respect: The Life of Aretha Franklin, because he felt no one else could write it and he calls it his “magnum opus.”
“He’s come up with a book of trash, that’s all that is. It’s a book of trash,” Franklin said. “Lies, lies, and more lies, and lies on top of lies. That’s all that is.”
Watch the Queen Diva express her candid opinions–or stay tellingly quiet–in her interview above with The Wall Street Journal.