R&B/Soul legend Aretha Franklin is on a crash diet in order to lose weight before her wedding next month. The singer has signed up with Jenny Craig and is limiting herself to 1,750 calories-a-day in an effort to drop some pounds. Franklin says, "I'm at 1,750 calories a day and I'm starving.""You just have to get used to portions and changing your lifestyle."Franklin, who will marry boyfriend Willie Wilkerson Jr. next month, insists she knows the Jenny Craig diet works - because she has seen amazing results in the past.She tells Sister 2 Sister magazine, "I lost 23 or 24 pounds to begin with, but it's kind of a strain when you get to 23 or 24 pounds. That's why I got off of it.""It's a strain because you're eating the Jenny Craig-type meals, which are very good. But you can only eat them for so long before you want some barbecue ribs or some pigs feet.""Once you get off that Jenny Craig thing and you start eating what you've been eating, it's all over."
Soul queen Aretha Franklin has been put on blast by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) after her fur wearing appearance at the recent Grammy Awards. PETA released a statement last week requesting that the Queen of Soul give up her dead animal skins for good. "Music lovers may think of you as a 'queen,' but to animal lovers, you are a court jester," wrote PETA spokesperson Dan Matthews. "Why not shed the old-fashioned look that adds pounds to your frame and detracts from your beautiful voice? Please consider donating your furs to the homeless as 'queen of compassion,' Mariah Carey, did. You'll get a tax credit for the donation, and we at PETA will all sing your praises." Last week, Franklin was the target of Beyonce's father/manager Mathew Knowles, who released a statement calling the singer "ridiculous" and "immature" for griping about his daughter calling Tina Turner "the queen" before their Grammy performance.
Unhappy R&B legend Aretha Franklin is not holding her breathe. On Tuesday, the longtime Queen of Soul slammed Beyonce Knowles' sexified intro to Tina Turner at Sunday's Grammy Awards, in which Knowles called Turner, not Franklin, "the queen." "I am not sure of whose toes I may have stepped on or whose ego I may have bruised between the Grammy writers and Beyonce," Franklin said in a statement issued by her publicist. "However, I dismissed it as a cheap shot for controversy." E-mails to Knowles' publicist were not immediately returned. In the first few seconds of Knowles' intro to Turner's performance, she name-dropped Franklin and a long list of famed female singers. Then the superstar R&B songstress changed her focus to Turner. "There is one legend who has the essence of all of those things: the glamour, the soul, the passion, the strength, the talent," said Knowles, strutting in hot pants. "Ladies and gentlemen. Stand on your feet and give it up for the queen." At a party later that night, Knowles called Turner her "ultimate icon." Still, Franklin ended her brief criticism on a gracious note, thanking the Grammys and the voting academy and saying, "love to Beyonce anyway." Known for such hits as "Respect" and "Chain of Fools," Franklin tied with the Clark Sisters for best gospel performance trophy for her duet "Never Gonna Break My Faith" with Mary J. Blige.
The Queen of Soul is set to release her very first Holiday album this year, an album she says should have been released many years ago. The "Respect" singer had put off releasing a holiday effort for many years because her managers and label felt that it wouldn't sell ! "I was told at one point that they (Christmas albums) didn't make any money, but that's not the point at all" says Franklin. Franklin is out to prove them wrong as she joins Rahsaan Patterson, Al Jarreau and Sheryl Crow, who will also be hitting the Holiday music market this fall. She says, "It was just so grossly remiss that I have not had a Christmas album. It was just ridiculous." "I'd be at home cooking and enjoying the holidays and listening to everybody but myself. I wasn't enjoying that." Aretha Franklin's "This Christmas" hits stores October 14th
Soul icon Aretha Franklin has spoken out in defence of her recent weight gain, saying she is proud to be a voluptuous woman. The (You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman singer regrets starving herself for four decades to maintain a figure which would be accepted by the music industry. But now the 63-year-old insists her fans are seeing the 'real' Aretha, who loves food, on stage for the first time. She confesses, "For a long time I suffered so much trying to be what other people expected me to be and look like. "I definitely was never meant to be a model-type walking down a runway - I'm just Aretha singing what she feels in her heart and soul."