Aretha Franklin has always been outspoken.
Fantasia Barrino says when she first met Aretha that she had no problem letting her know exactly what was on her mind.
via Page Six:
“I was able to sing for her when they were honoring her [at a 2007 tribute concert] at the Kodak Theater in Los Angeles, which is actually where I won ‘American Idol,’” Barrino, 34, told Billboard recently. “I was stupid nervous because I was the little girl that was listening to Aretha. My first cassette was Aretha Franklin.”
After performing her tribute, Barrino was introduced to Franklin.
“She walked around the room gracefully, as Aretha would do – very smooth,” Barrino remembered. “She shook hands, gave people one or two words and kept it moving.”
Franklin’s mood suddenly shifted when she reached Barrino. “She finally gets to me, and she looks at me – I’m still crying. And she said, ‘You can sing – but I’m the bitch around here.’ I’m thinking, ‘Wait a minute! That’s not what I was ready for!’ But she was serious.”
Barrino replied to the unusual exchange, “Yes, ma’am.”
“And I understood exactly what she was saying because she was that in my life, for me,” the Grammy winner explained. “There will never, ever be another Aretha Franklin. That’s what she was letting me know: ‘You’re good, but always know, I’m the head chick.’”
Barrino will perform one final tribute at the Queen of Soul’s funeral in Detroit on Aug. 31. She will be joined by Jennifer Hudson, Stevie Wonder, Faith Hill and many others.