The Queen is back, and she has her sights set on reworking one of the biggest hits of the decade.
On Monday (Sept. 29), Aretha Franklin debuted her cover of Adele's "Rolling in the Deep" on YouTube, her first single since 2011. The Queen of Soul's version is the lead single from her upcoming album, Aretha Franklin Sings the Great Diva Classics, which features 10 covers of both classic and contemporary hits, including Barbra Streisand's "People," Gloria Gaynor's "I Will Survive," and Alicia Keys' "No One."
Of all the iconic tracks, "Deep" may cast the largest shadow. Adele's original dominated the Hot 100 for seven weeks in 2011, on its way to being named the Hot 100 year-end No. 1, and helped launch parent album 21 to rule the Billboard 200 for 24 weeks. The monster hit also scored the British songstress three Grammy Awards, including Record of the Year and Song of the Year. (Franklin, of course, is no stranger to the Grammys – having won 18 of the prizes herself.)
Twitter also latched on to the song's highly anticipated release. Just hours after its debut, Aretha's track shot to a peak of No. 2 on the Billboard + Twitter Trending 140, where it resides at the time of posting. Since the chart only launched earlier this year, "Deep" is Franklin's first entry.
Franklin's fiery take infuses Adele's track with her trademark melismatic growls and wails and even sneaks in the chorus of another classic tune, Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell's "Ain't No Mountain High Enough."
Great Diva Classics will be released Oct. 21, with Franklin partnering with longtime collaborator Clive Davis as the project's executive producer. Speaking to Billboard ahead of the release, Davis said he was thrilled with the album. "She's on fire and vocally in absolutely peak form," he explained.
"What a thrill to see this peerless artist still showing the way, still sending shivers up your spine, still demonstrating that all contemporary music needs right now is the voice. What a voice." The new recording, he added, "is purely and simply sensational."