Aretha Heads West, Eyes Duets Album
As soon as a slate of fall concerts is finished, Aretha Franklin will head back into the recording studio.As soon as a slate of fall concerts is finished, Aretha Franklin will head back into the recording studio. She and music legend Clive Davis, chairman of BMG North America, are teaming again for a new album.
"Clive and I are working on a duets [album]," she says. "I'm also going to do three or four new cuts for that." So far, she plans to sing songs with Mariah Carey and Gloria Estefan, among others.
Franklin recently confirmed her first concerts in Los Angeles since 1983. "I haven't been gone," she says with a laugh. "I just haven't come out. L.A. is not just around the corner if you're driving."
On Sept. 17-18, she will headline Hollywood's newly renovated Greek Theatre and then head to Las Vegas, where she will play the House of Blues on Sept. 24-25. Franklin, who is based in Detroit, says she has not been on a plane since 1983. But since she has to travel to Albuquerque, N.M., on business, and since the drive from Albuquerque to Los Angeles is a bit less severe than the one from Detroit, she says it's worth it.
The artist promises she will sing "all the hits" as well as some tracks from her latest album, "So Damn Happy," released last year via Arista. "I'm going to do some special things that I put together and some wonderful surprises."
Of today's music, Franklin says, "I like what I hear now. I'm very happy with it, and I think it's alive and well. I love OutKast. I think they are just wild, I love them. I love the beat."
Two of her sons also are in the business -- Teddy White has played guitar with her for 15 years, now has his own band and has been opening for her on various dates. Additionally, Kecalf Franklin, who Franklin says is into hip-hop, is looking for a record deal. "It's nice to have your kids in the business with you," she says. "I really love working with my sons."
In related news, Franklin is confirmed to perform Nov. 16 in Little Rock, Ark., as part of the festivities surrounding the Bill Clinton Presidential Library. She will be joined for some cuts by the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra.