The world continues to mourn the loss of soul legend Aretha Franklin. As the star step forward to pay tribute, many are sharing their personal stories about their time with Franklin, including Fantasia Barrino.
Speaking to Billboard, Barrino opened up about her first time meeting Franklin, and put it this way… auntie Aretha don’t play!
“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. I was stupid nervous because I was the little girl that was listening to Aretha. My first cassette was Aretha Franklin,” Barrino told Billboard.
“They took us downstairs [after the show], and I remember the door opening, and I just burst out crying as she came in. She walked around the room gracefully, as Aretha would do — very smooth. She shook hands, gave people one or two words and kept it moving. 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. She said it, and I said, “Yes, ma’am.” And I understood exactly what she was saying because she was that in my life, for me. 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.” And that’s what it is.”
We all know there are some great tributes coming our way soon. We’re just gonna ignore that lil’ Madonna blip at the VMA’s. While fans speculate as to who should step up to honor Franklin, Barrino is one that would undoubtedly do her legacy justice.