Aretha Franklin Responds To “Idol” Criticism

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Aretha Franklin Whitney Houston TributeThe Queen of Soul is not pleased with recent criticism about her voicing her goal of becoming a judge on American Idol.

On a recent edition of the Today show, co-host Kathie Lee Gifford mentioned that maybe Aretha Franklin isn’t the best pick:

“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.

Then, Kennedy poured more cold water on the idea of Franklin doing the show, saying she doesn’t like to fly and that will make it hard for her to travel across the country for auditions.

“She does not fly. She needs to get over that (doing ‘Idol’),” he said.

A few hours later, Franklin responded in an e-mail, which was exclusively obtained by CNN:

“While I enjoy Kathie Lee and Hoda daily, her assessment is totally wrong!” Franklin wrote.

“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.

“Further, my audience and fans span the age of 8 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!

“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!”

As for be a judge on “Idol,” Franklin made it clear she’s up for the task.

“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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