With 14 days remaining until thousands flock to New Orleans for the 2012 ESSENCE Music Festival, the Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin, says she’s going to sing it all, from A to Z.
“I’m gonna perform everything I ever recorded,” she laughs. “Not quite Egypt, but I am going to sing a lot of it – think ‘R.E.S.P.E.C.T.,’ ‘I Say a Little Prayer,’ ‘Sparkle,’ a lot of of stuff from the ‘Sparkle’ album, ‘Sweet Sixteen,’ ‘The Freeway.’ You name it, gonna sing it.”
Franklin also says she’s celebrating her illustrious 40 year career during her performance. “Forty! You know I started when I was about 15.”
And, she’s not stopping any time soon. Franklin confirmed that’s she in the studio with Clive Davis recording a new album which will be released in either September or October. “This will be album number 30, 40, something like that,” she quipped. “Maybe 50, I’m not sure.”
As for her much talked about biopic, which she tried to recruit Halle Berry for, Franklin says the project hasn’t been shelved. “No, this is a new group, and what happened with the other group… negotiations went on with them for about three years and we got to the point of they were adamant about the casting and I was adamant about the casting and so the whole thing finally fell through. But because you’re casting myself and you’re casting my family – I mean I don’t think anyone can do that better than me.”
Franklin says she’s considering Jennifer Hudson and Audra McDonald for the lead role.