Aretha Franklin Duets with Condoleeza Rice
Former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice abandoned international affairs for a Mozart piano concerto on Tuesday (July 27), teaming up with Soul legend Aretha Franklin to perform at a charity concert in Philadelphia.
Rice, the Republican former aide to President George W. Bush, performed with the Queen of Soul, a committed Democrat who sang at President Barack Obama's inauguration, to raise money for underprivileged youth.
Rice is an accomplished pianist who considered becoming a professional musician before opting to specialize in studying the former Soviet Union. She was greeted with cheers and a few boos when she appeared to play a movement of Mozart's Piano Concerto No. 20 in D minor with the Philadelphia Orchestra.
Video: Aretha Franklin duets with Condoleeza Rice
The first black woman to become Secretary of State, who justified the U.S.-led war in Iraq with discredited claims that it harbored weapons of mass destruction, bowed and smiled briefly to the audience after her nine-minute performance.
The unlikely alliance of Rice and Franklin had its origins at a White House meeting between the two, after which Franklin suggested they join to raise money for a worthy cause, said Catherine Cahill, chief executive of Philadelphia's Mann Music Center for the Performing Arts, where the event was held.
Rice, now a political science professor at Stanford University, played a duet with Franklin on "Say a Little Prayer for You", which Franklin introduced by saying: "You didn't think she could play it, right?" But the show really belonged to Franklin, who, dressed in a white satin gown, ran through classics including "Respect," "Chain of Fools", and "You Make Me Feel Like a Natural Woman."
The performance was expected to raise $580,000 for an annual program that invites low-income children to attend concerts and master classes at the center. "There's nothing political about this performance," Cahill said.
(Editing by Greg McCune)
COPYRIGHT: (c) Reut ers 2010. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of Reuters content, including by caching, framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Reuters. Reuters and the Reuters sphere logo are registered trademarks and trademarks of the Reuters group of companies around the world.