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Cynthia Erivo as Aretha Franklin

"Genius: Aretha" on NatGeo. Anybody else watching this? I think she's doing a fabulous job, and she's doing her own singing.

Never knew how much Aretha struggled before hitting it big in the late 60s. She wasn't an overnight success at all.

by Anonymousreply 17104/07/2021

She wasn't an overnight success, she was an OVERWEIGHT success

by Anonymousreply 103/26/2021

I watched all 8 hours. Meh. I love Cynthia Erivo but she’s no Ree. Doesn’t look or sound like her. And then it’s like a Lifetime movie...

by Anonymousreply 203/26/2021

[quote] Doesn’t look or sound like her.

Preach, R2. Getting someone who looks like me is vitally important, and that was why I wanted Halle Berry to play the role in my official biopic, "From These Roots: The Genius and Icon Aretha Franklin". But no, Miss Berry was too chicken to even attempt it and once I fell ill, the people in charge chose that mouth-breathing halfwit Jennifer Hudson.

It's an outrage. That pedestrian performer Tina Something gets Angela Bassett to play her and I, the only Queen and Empress of all music, get some idiot who works off a script that includes instructions for her to breathe in and breathe out. I want to choke someone with Taylor Swifty's gowns.

by Anonymousreply 303/26/2021

She looks and sounds close enough, you rarely get an actor or actress who is exactly like the person they're portraying.

by Anonymousreply 403/26/2021

Is Dionne watching?

by Anonymousreply 503/26/2021

Love Cynthia Erivo. Not as Aretha though. JHUD is coming. Hide.

by Anonymousreply 603/26/2021

Cynthia will be getting the Emmy for this.

by Anonymousreply 703/28/2021

[quote] Never knew how much Aretha struggled before hitting it big in the late 60s.

Yes, you did.

by Anonymousreply 803/28/2021

Nope r8. All of this was way before my time and I didn't know Aretha's whole life story.

by Anonymousreply 903/28/2021

i liked in the trailer when some record executive asks her what type of records she would like to make and she replies "Hits."

by Anonymousreply 1003/28/2021

Aretha struggled AFTER making it big. Her house was a hoarding mess. Her sister, who has become a bookkeeper, found a check for 30k under a coffee table at Aretha's house. She had to remind Aretha to bank it and Aretha threw a shit fit.

I don't know if it's a coincidence that Aretha was impregnated at age 12 and she had a half sibling BORN to a 12 year old in her father's congregation...

by Anonymousreply 1103/28/2021

*who had become

by Anonymousreply 1203/28/2021

I hope at least one of the biopics will cover all the shade Aretha threw at virtually every other woman in showbiz.

by Anonymousreply 1303/28/2021

Was her father's allegedly dodgy past discussed as well? Re Re was such an aloof and secretive person and wasn't she also a drunk?

by Anonymousreply 1403/29/2021

Why in the world is Cynthia Erivo starring in a made for tv movie on a Lifetime knockoff network? She's a great performer - too good for this so early in her career.

by Anonymousreply 1503/29/2021

She's black. How many leading roles are out there for black women?

by Anonymousreply 1603/29/2021

You know. One of the things that was missing from this narrative is the fact that Aretha had relationships, (not necessarily sexual at all) with a lot of the Motown kids even though she was not pat of Motown. (For all his speeches, when it came to the $$$, C.L. Franklin went to Columbia, Atlantic, Arista, etc. It was Jerry Wexler or Clive Davis not Barry Gordy. ) Smokey, Levi Stubbs from the Four Tops, Stevie Wonder, to name a few were all close with her and her siblings. And she often had a house full of musicians working on whatever. And Carole King wrote Natural Woman for her. Yes, we saw her singing with George Michael and Annie Lennox, and that was great, but there were a lot of intersections. If I had to point out one flaw in this production, it is that fact that we neve got enough of Aretha singing some of my old favorites, like "One Step Ahead" The first episode dealt with her Columbia years, and even though it didn't sell big at the time, which was the measure of success, her voice in those songs was really something. If Ever I Would Leave You, Sweet Bitter Love, Skylark, etc.

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by Anonymousreply 1703/29/2021

I love this song so much. It is gorgeous. She really was something.

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by Anonymousreply 1803/29/2021

Why didn't an American black actress get to play her?

by Anonymousreply 1903/29/2021

I’ve watched the first two episodes. So far, it seems that she didn’t have that interesting a life.

I’m watching for Erivo who is mesmerizing in everything she does

by Anonymousreply 2003/29/2021

Jennifer Hudson is Amurikin.

by Anonymousreply 2103/29/2021

Hudson can’t act

by Anonymousreply 2203/29/2021

R18, the pre-screechy days

by Anonymousreply 2303/29/2021

Some of you don't really get it, the fact that being raised in the Baptist church tradition, and singing with the church choir, training with James Cleveland, etc. Aretha's style was influenced and grounded by all of that and you can call it screeching, but she was Sangin'. She didn't take care of her voice, she smoked, she drank, and she was generally unhealthy, and especially after she gained all that weight, her breathing, her control, etc. vocal chords were shot....and then she died.

by Anonymousreply 2403/29/2021

Who plays Dionne?

by Anonymousreply 2503/29/2021

R24, her amazing performance of Natural Woman at the Kennedy Center Honors (Carole King was an honoree) belies your statements.

Erivo sings well though she seems too careful at times. Aretha let loose and Erivo is a more calculated singer. But Erivo delivers her lines here with the exact same low-key intonations that she used in The Outsider and Harriet. That should not be the case.

The girl playing the young Aretha has a nice but underwhelming voice, certainly not the kind that would merit the hosannahs she gets. There are times when you can barely hear her over the band - some bad sound mixing there.

The script is meh.

by Anonymousreply 2603/29/2021

Wait, it’s an 8 episode show?

I was watching assuming it was only 4 episodes.

Fuck that—I’ve gotten throw two episodes. I don’t care about any more.

Just let me know if she has a baby at 12

by Anonymousreply 2703/29/2021

Aretha's father was a real pussyhound!

by Anonymousreply 2803/29/2021

Aretha doing an excellent version of "If I had a hammer".

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by Anonymousreply 2903/29/2021

R2, what are you talking about? She sounds amazing...and she isn't lipsyncing. Cynthia Erivo has major talent.

by Anonymousreply 3003/29/2021

Erivo is amazing and beautiful. But these exercises never really work when the subject is as great as Aretha. Without her real voice it's not real and with lip synching it's better but doesn't feel real. Don't forget that most modern music polls and publications consider Aretha to be one of the top 3 greatest singers of all time. Who the fuck can play that?

Nobody wants to hear somebody try to sound like Aretha, Patsy, Judy, Whitney, Ella, Tina Turner or Karen Carpenter. Their voices are too distinct and so very special. So use their recordings. And if you can't get access to them- don't do the biopic.

With a less stupendous voice like Loretta Lynn or Ray Charles, a gifted musical actor or actress can get away with a good vocal impersonation - but only when the script is great. Biopics of singing legends in living memory never quite work.

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by Anonymousreply 3103/29/2021

R30 as I stated I love Cynthia Erivo. Love her. Saw her in TCP close to 10 times. Cynthia Erivo’s talent rocks my world. I just didn’t find much to admire in the Genius: Aretha miniseries. It doesn’t change my opinion of Erivo and her magnificent talent.

by Anonymousreply 3203/29/2021

Poor St V. I think she should have been cast as the older Aretha, who was a very sexual woman and always letting her boobs hang out. St V could have pigged out on fatty foods for a year and then squuezed herself into outfits four sizes too small with the tits threatening to put someone's eyes out.

by Anonymousreply 3303/29/2021

R14 they did cover her drinking in the series, they briefly showed her in some kind of retreat, but glossed over it, it wasn’t clear if it was a spa or rehab. For an 8hr series they skipped over tons & spent a bit too much time repeating stuff, especially in the flashbacks, where less would’ve been more.

by Anonymousreply 3403/29/2021

Best use of an Aretha song in a movie soundtrack.

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by Anonymousreply 3503/29/2021

I LOVE that song... she was so young! Here's a live version....

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by Anonymousreply 3603/30/2021

St Vincent isn't even black.

by Anonymousreply 3703/30/2021

[quote] s I stated I love Cynthia Erivo. Love her. Saw her in TCP close to 10 times.

really? Don't you have a life?

by Anonymousreply 3803/30/2021

Aretha's life actually doesn't seem all that interesting

by Anonymousreply 3903/30/2021

R39, if you thought this version was dull, wait until you watch the version based on her bullshit autobiography "From These Roots". Aretha's telling of her life story is not only sanitized fiction but also bizarre in the choices she made. Episodes like her teen pregnancies would get a throwaway line or two and that would be it. But pages devoted to her favorite hot dog stand or burger joint or vendor of pig's feet. And to saying shady stuff about every other woman, alive or dead.

by Anonymousreply 4003/30/2021

I watched all 8 episodes. I liked that they focused on the process of the making of the music. Erivo was remarkable and deserves an Emmy. Did I miss the performances of Respect" and "Natural Woman". I was waiting for both of them, thought maybe a phone call distracted me.

I have no interest in JHud's portrayal. She will scream all of the songs and she really cannot act.

by Anonymousreply 4103/31/2021

There's lots of telling stories about Aretha that would make a good biopic.

by Anonymousreply 4203/31/2021

I've seen 4 episodes and the main themes are:

The victimization of Black women (Aretha, her mother, her father's other women) by their scumbag husbands (C.L. Franklin, Aretha's husband), before walking away. Very Color Purple-ish.

The influence of the gospel circuit on Aretha's music, but the series spends more time in the flashbacks with her father's bad behavior and doesn't do as good a job with the musical connection.

There haven't been that many scenes of music making and you hardly ever hear a complete song. The best one so far was in Episode 1, where Aretha and the band are struggling with the right approach to I Never Loved A Man (The Way I Love You) and then she uses a more gospel approach. But once the breakthrough happens you only hear a short part of the song. Stupid.

R41, I suspect Respect and You Make Me Feel...are not in the series because Erivo was leery of taking on those two iconic songs and the invidious comparisons that would follow. Most all of the songs used so far are those that are less ubiquitous.

Erivo has a fine voice on her own, but she's obviously not in Aretha's class. She does well with Save Me (one of the better filmed numbers), Ain't No Way (a tough song with all those high notes) and bits of other songs but I found some others (bits of Call Me and Don't Play That Song) underwhelming. Taking on the Aretha songbook is not an enviable task.

by Anonymousreply 4303/31/2021

I watched it diligently and I have to share you objections about not enough complete songs. I didn't miss songs we hear all the time. But I do wish there was more to show off her range. I must have missed Ain't No Way, and it is one of my favorites. Carolyn wrote it. I used to live in Detroit. There were two ways, according to my Moms, to break into entertainment back then. Late '50s, and 60's. The church choir, or the local recreation department, which had talent shows and contests and almost all the kids would form groups and try out.

Smokey, the Supremes, Martha and the Vandellas, the Marvelettes, and dozens more would always be at the talent shows. And all the neighborhood kids would flock to these talent shows to see their friends or the kids who represented their school, etc. So they knew Smokey, and Diane, and the guys in the Temptations, etc. If you ever saw the movie about The Temptations, it was pretty accurate. Aretha and her siblings knew all those kids and hung out with them.

When Smokey spoke at her funeral he talked about meeting Cecil when they were little. But of course Aretha's father was always discouraging her from hanging out with the neighborhood kids because she was special. ( she rebelled and snuck out anyway.) And generally, in the social pecking order in blue collar Detroit, the Preacher's kids were not your ordinary neighborhood ragamuffins.

Of course the neighborhood she grew up in was a long way from the housing projects the Temptations and the Supremes grew up in. She lived in a vey classy neighborhood at that time. But the talent contests were equalizers. You either had it or you didn't. Although Aretha would never be allowed to participate in any contests. Not allowed. Yet he would drag her along to his revivals and leave her unsupervised while he acted like a pig.

See, to his way of thinking, Aretha was the big draw. People would flock to New Bethel to hear her sing. In fact, to hear my mother tell it, there were two reasons for teenagers to go to church. One was for the "show" because the choirs were very competitive. The other was to meet girls and boys. There was always talk about who had the best looking boys or the prettiest girls.

Showing the dark side of C.L. Franklin was important. He dominated Aretha's life even from the grave. To say she was influenced by him is an understatement. She was a secretive person, for a reason. She felt it was her right to steal her sisters' music, their opportunities, etc. The story about her and Curtis Mayfield was real, and it was a lot more fraught than this telling showed us. She was attracted to a certain type of man for a reason. And the abusive experiences were common. No one really talks about the pathology, the psychoses that are byproducts of racism.

by Anonymousreply 4403/31/2021

Did they feature the Dennis Edwards fur coat story?

by Anonymousreply 4503/31/2021

Was it Aretha who said she saw Tina leave Sam Cooke's hotel room? Or was it Tina who said she Aretha leave Cooke's room?

by Anonymousreply 4603/31/2021

Aretha picking the false eyelashes clean off the face of one of the Sweet Inspirations... "Drive with soul" cracks me up. A movie of her life story could be very entertaining.

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by Anonymousreply 4703/31/2021

What is the fur coat story?

by Anonymousreply 4803/31/2021

Aretha was seeing Dennis Edwards ("Daydreaming" was written about him apparently). One day Aretha turned up where Edwards and the Temptations were recording at the studio. She dropped her fur coat to the ground. In her birthday suit, she asked "Do you have time for me now?"

by Anonymousreply 4903/31/2021

Erivo is a racist and should not be supported.

by Anonymousreply 5003/31/2021

THANK YOU! Now that I've seen that clip from the Sweet Inspirations it occurs to me. What I found missing from the Genius: Aretha series was Energy. They tried. But it just didn't have the kind of energy it needed to fully capture her personality or the, music, or development of the her "Genius." It was flat. Erivo was dour. The bouncing back and forth with flashbacks was not handled as well as it could have been. It got choppy. Poor editing. And maybe they were too reverential to the subject. But they should have got into it more.

Here's her 1990 interview with Bryan Gumbel, oof! Girl was flirting with him! She liked some Bryan Gumbel, baby. And she looked SO good. Elegant.

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by Anonymousreply 5103/31/2021

Gurl, I love me some Aretha! She was my favorite negro

by Anonymousreply 5203/31/2021

Aretha may have shown up in a fur coat. She loved them. She was always dropping them on the floor. So very plausible. But showing up to a recording session naked,? Nope. Never happened. Not even within the realm of possible. That wasn't her style. Would she even interrupt a recording session? Not hardly, but she might show up just to watch and hang out with all the musicians and sound people and observe the mixing, etc. She knew all those guys. And she was very hands on. Those sessions often ended up being jam sessions, sometimes when ideas and sounds were developed into great music. Now, if she was dating someone she might show up to check up on him. But not in a confrontational way.

by Anonymousreply 5303/31/2021

From Wiki: " It had been rumoured the song was about Temptations' singer Dennis Edwards, which was confirmed by Franklin in 1999 on The Oprah Winfrey Show"

by Anonymousreply 5403/31/2021

R53 Aretha was not always the prim and proper woman you saw on tv and in concert. Off stage, she could get Detroit with the best of them in a minute.

In her own book, she related stories about almost coming to blows with women several times. Once, even outside the white house, with another diva who was rumored to have been Leontyne Price.

by Anonymousreply 5503/31/2021

Damn did Aretha smoke like a chimney or what? And she smoked Kools! Those are harsh as shit. Did she ever quit?

by Anonymousreply 5603/31/2021

There was also the time where Ree sent a fax to Liz Smith reading her to filth over Smith criticizing her outfits. Liz reprinted it for her column.

by Anonymousreply 5703/31/2021

Aretha wore this ensemble on Soul Train. I have no trouble believing that she wouldn't give a shit if the rest of the Temptations saw her stark naked. She was "collecting" Dennis Edwards from the studio. They left together, as the story goes.

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by Anonymousreply 5803/31/2021

Aretha also sent a shitty fax to Dionne, she was still pissed about Dionne shading her while speaking at Whitney's funeral.

by Anonymousreply 5903/31/2021

Actually, she sent the fax to the press ABOUT Dionne.

by Anonymousreply 6003/31/2021

R51, you're 100% right about the lack of energy. I've seen a number of clips of Franklin being interviewed and she's not like the solemn, rather humorless figure Erivo provides. Erivo acts Aretha the same way she did Harriet Tubman.

by Anonymousreply 6103/31/2021

I don't think that's just on Erivo. Lori Parks perhaps was at pains to remove any hint of "sassy."

by Anonymousreply 6203/31/2021

Here's the Liz Smith story.

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by Anonymousreply 6303/31/2021

Cynthia is fine, but she lacks the dirty, mean-spirited outrageousness of Re as she became so full of herself she nearly exploded. Of course very few [italic]humans[/italic] can take on that kind of demonic egotism as actors. We're just not built for it.

Just my two cents.

by Anonymousreply 6403/31/2021

You're probably right, R62. And probably not just Lori-Parks either.

For all the Jennifer Hudson haters here (and I agree she's not that much of an actress), Aretha Franklin herself thought she was right for the role.

by Anonymousreply 6503/31/2021

Aretha also thought Halle Berry was right for the role. Aretha was about her coins.

by Anonymousreply 6603/31/2021

The prestige of winning an Oscar conferring legitimacy on the persons involved with the project, is what the Franklin family, especially Aretha was all about. Thus Hudson and Whitaker, etc. And Hudson was more bankable than Erivo, and an American girl from Chicago, at the time, so yes, definitely about the $$$ too.

by Anonymousreply 6703/31/2021

The Franklin sisters: Erma, Carolyn, Aretha. Erma could do the glam thing very well.

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by Anonymousreply 6803/31/2021

In real life, Erma was petite and she was an open, friendly person. I met her once at an event. She laughed easily and seemed like she would be a fun person to party with. This was 30-35 yrs. ago. I was in my early 20's and too dumb to fully appreciate that I had met "royalty."

by Anonymousreply 6903/31/2021

Well as much as I feel that Jennifer Hudson has limitations when it comes to both acting and singing, I do think she will bring the attitude and the sass. She can definitely act sullen and thin skinned. So her personality will "get" that part of Aretha. But the problem is, she doesn't understand that less is more and nuance is not part of her vocabulary. She will be all one way all the time. Aretha was regal. In public she could be very poised. But she had warmth. Hudson won't get that part. She will walk around with a perpetual chip on her shoulder as Aretha.

Just go watch some of her interviews. Because even the most skilled pros were intimidated and nervous to be around her. They were careful because she could be a true Diva, and would walk out on you. A lot of people don't get what a true Diva is like. She loved that deference. Got a kick out of it. Her friends used to say she had a great "bullshit detector." She discouraged familiarity and it took time for her to warm up to outsiders, even Oprah. But around friends or musicians and people she knew she was very cool.

by Anonymousreply 7003/31/2021

She had a kid at age 12 and then another at age 14.

Someone needed to sit her down and tell her to block her cooche

by Anonymousreply 7103/31/2021

I didn't know her dad got a 12-year-old pregnant. Are all preachers secret creeps?

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by Anonymousreply 7203/31/2021

You've got a lot of catching up to do R72.

by Anonymousreply 7303/31/2021

Since Turman is still alive I guess the Cynthia version won't address the gossip about the real reason he and Retha Mae broke up.

by Anonymousreply 7403/31/2021

Didn't Aretha sing the theme tune to a show which co-starred Glynn long after they broke up? I doubt she'd do that if he'd been fucking her son.

by Anonymousreply 7504/01/2021

Her son is Gay. That's how the rumor started. I think Ted White's son is the Gay one, not sure. Glynn was dealing with their long distance relationship by hooking up with guys in L.A. It got back to her. But the idea of her busting him in the bed with another man was more salacious and it took off.

by Anonymousreply 7604/01/2021

[Quote] Glynn was dealing with their long distance relationship by hooking up with guys in L.A.

That makes no sense.

by Anonymousreply 7704/01/2021

Did Auntie Ree ever take a dip in the lady pond or was she too dickmatized to ever consider lezzing out?

by Anonymousreply 7804/01/2021

R77, yes it does. Glynn loved her and he tried to be straight for her, but back in LA he just went back to doing his thang. You've never met a closeted Gay man who was married?

by Anonymousreply 7904/01/2021

Fucking men is not a tactic to deal with not having your wife to fuck.

by Anonymousreply 8004/01/2021

Frau alert !

by Anonymousreply 8104/01/2021

The poster upthread wrote that distance made the man return to fucking men. That is a singularly silly suggestion. Men who like to fuck men don't do it because their wife isn't around. They do it because they like it.

by Anonymousreply 8204/01/2021

[quote] If I can't have Aretha, let me eat cock!

LOL, R77. Is that what Fantasia screamed when she was told Jen Hudson had been cast in the biopic?

by Anonymousreply 8304/01/2021

I certainly did not mean to imply that he "returned to fucking men"

by Anonymousreply 8404/01/2021

Aretha was no strange to Gay men. Rev. James Cleveland, a well-known Gospel minister, was Gay and she became very close to him when C.L. Franklin bought him to Detroit to live in his house and work with young Aretha. Later, because they became so close, CL was jealous, and threw him out. But years later, she went back to him for her Amazing Grace documentary.

by Anonymousreply 8504/01/2021

Cleveland was a paedophile, no? I guess CL didn't like his own kind...

by Anonymousreply 8604/01/2021

To me Erivo seems more like Mary J. Blige that Franklin.

by Anonymousreply 8704/01/2021

Was there beef between her and Jessye Norman at the 1993 Evening at Pops Tribute to John Williams? Some gossip item mentioned "fuck you" going back and forth between the divas.

by Anonymousreply 8804/01/2021

Aretha was obnoxious to most other female performers, on stage and sometimes otherwise. But you can't spell D I V A without Jessye Norman OR Aretha Franklin. There's a cage match of grandiose self regard.

by Anonymousreply 8904/01/2021

Erivo did a fine job. It was the script not the actor. Who directed?

by Anonymousreply 9004/01/2021

I thought Erivo was good; her singing was mimicry without imitation, if that makes sense.

The show itself was too long - trim off two episodes and you wouldn’t have the repetition that set in (part of the problem was running it two episodes a night over four nights - space between the episodes would’ve hidden the flaws better)

That said, I can’t imagine a two hour movie will provide a lot of psychological insight and I suspect JHud will oversing every damn number.

Aretha was iconic and complicated and i think they sanitized her life a bit too much to get the family - mostly - on board.

by Anonymousreply 9104/01/2021

I've been enjoying some of the interviews on You Tube that Aretha did. She was something.

by Anonymousreply 9204/01/2021

Aretha's granddaughter made a point of saying that they were shut out by the "Genius" makers and that they didn't know what the mini series contained. I don't think the makers give a shit about the family.

by Anonymousreply 9304/01/2021

Aretha and all of her siblings died from smoking.

by Anonymousreply 9404/01/2021

Some vocal bliss from Aretha and Smokey. Aretha was always kind to her homeboys. She's WAS something, in every way R92.

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by Anonymousreply 9504/01/2021

See the contrast when Aretha performs with Tom Jones. She doesn't once make eye contact with him. There's no reason for it. He's pretty good. She either didn't respect him or wanted to fuck him. Aretha is fascinating in her presentation. A true narcissist. Don't matter if her daddy impregnated her or she got beat a bit in relationships. She found a way to do exactly as she pleased. An only child, in her mind. A genius talent.

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by Anonymousreply 9604/01/2021

I loved that old interview where a middle-aged Aretha, who had ready been a teen THOT mother of two kids by the age of 14, acted like a prissy, virginal, prudish maiden aunt and was very offended by the suggestion that some of her songs might have contained some sexual content. I remember her vehemently denying that "sock it to me, sock it to me" was anything sexual and claimed it meant "give me a high five".

by Anonymousreply 9704/02/2021

No. Carolyn and Erma died of cancer but not from smoking. Cecil, yes, you can say that about, and his wife too, but not the other two. I think in Erma's case it was alcohol. She'd get shit faced and pass out on the floor at her own parties. But cancer killed their mother too so genetics played a role.

by Anonymousreply 9804/02/2021

Yet, the same middle aged Aretha when asked "Who last gave you goosebumps?" answered "My man, last night!"

by Anonymousreply 9904/02/2021

R99, did she even have a man at that point? Didn't David Ritz's bio claim that she would invent stories about her secret romances about men she was horny for and leak them to tabloids? One of the men she got all moist for was Tavis Smiley.

by Anonymousreply 10004/02/2021

Yes, apparently Aretha would plant items in JET magazine. She did have a nonfamous boyfriend who married not long after her death.

by Anonymousreply 10104/02/2021

Erma died from lung cancer, as did Cecil. Aretha died from pancreatic cancer, which is caused by smoking.

by Anonymousreply 10204/02/2021

Just watched an interview where Aretha said that Diana Ross grew up one block from her but they only got to know each other as adults. If you read the various bios about Detroit music people, it is amazing how many of them either went to either school or church together. Those must have been some musical street corners.

by Anonymousreply 10304/02/2021

Was Mavis Staples one of those women who clashed with Re? Supposedly Re got jacked up in a kitchen by Mavis .

by Anonymousreply 10404/03/2021

Re also threw shade at old Diane Ross in her Oprah interview. This was soon after Diane had fondled Li'l Kim's boob at the VMAs and Fat Auntie Ree said something catty about it.

That entire episode was quite something. Re also told Oprah not to touch her. And boasted about her famous banana pudding recipe, which was basically nothing more than adding store bought pudding to store bought vanilla wafers and creating layers. She actually had the nerve to try to pass that shit off as some sort of great, secret recipe involving a lot of skill.

by Anonymousreply 10504/03/2021

8 episodes? I watched 3 last night, but I don’t know if I can do 5 more. Cynthia can sing, and she gets some of the diva-ness right, but why is Aretha so solemn? I get she had a dramatic life, but clearly Re was a fun, shady bitch. I’d like to see more of her humor...but maybe that came out in the later years. I also didn’t like that they glossed over her biggest hits.

by Anonymousreply 10604/03/2021

Didn't the mini series include anything like the Sweet Inspirations story that Aretha decided to visit her father in Detroit even though she was already in California for a gig the next day?

by Anonymousreply 10704/03/2021

Aretha was a true DIVA. She was moody, imperious, and quirky. That aspect of he personality was not captured in Erivo's interpretation. Erivo played her as too rational and serious.

by Anonymousreply 10804/03/2021

Erivo played her in exactly the same low-key, serious, humorless way she played her characters in THE OUTSIDER and HARRIET (in those two cases it worked). But I also believe the producers and Suzan Lori-Parks wanted to provide us with a two-dimensional "empowering" characterization. Even Franklin's diva behavior is presented as fighting to get her due as an artist most of the time.

It's not a good sign when C.L. Franklin comes off as a much more interesting character than Aretha, if only because his warts are on full display.

Speaking of Lori-Parks, I've only seen one piece she's written that I thought was really effective - TOPDOG/UNDERDOG, and that may have had more to do with the actors than the writing. The writing on this series (and her script for the hot mess U.S. Vs. BILLIE HOLIDAY) is not impressive at all.

by Anonymousreply 10904/04/2021

I saw Cynthia Erivo as Delores in "Sister Act - The Musical." Comedienne is not her metier so it wouldn't surprise me if she leans away from lightness, sass, wit etc. Is she the black Betty Lynn?

by Anonymousreply 11004/04/2021

While Aretha had so many hits, I don’t find that many worship her like they do, say, Whitney or Madonna.

Her music just seems more aloof. I never play Aretha’s music although I have a few of her cds.

by Anonymousreply 11104/05/2021

It's extremely difficult to find someone who closely resembles the famous person they are supposed to be portraying. Especially if the performer is required to sing or act as if they can play an instrument.

Riz Ahmed convincingly portrayed a drummer in Sound of Metal, he learned to play drums over the course of about a year. Since he wasn't portraying a real person, how he looked wasn't all that important, except he had to appear to be a punk rock drummer., he had dyed blond hair and fake tattoos. What was important, he needed to appear to know how to play the drums, which he did convincingly.

Cynthia Erivo looks and sounds nothing like Aretha, Rami Malek looked nothing like Freddie Mercury (he certainly isn't as tall as Freddie was!), Gary Busey looked nothing like Buddy Holly, Lou Diamond Phillips looked nothing like Richie Valens. J Lo looked nothing like Selena and so on.

The only performer who closely resembled the person he was portraying was Andre Benjamin in the film about Hendrix. Andre looked a lot like Jimi. It was Andre's speaking voice (both the sound of Jimi's voice and his halting way of speaking) and Jimi's mannerisms, all were spot on, Andre was Jimi. It was eerie.

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by Anonymousreply 11204/05/2021

Don't forget Val Kilmer as Jim Morrison. I thought he was incredible. And I disagree with you about J Lo. IMO, she did resemble Selena. She's a little more voluptuous, but she did. It was just about all she had. Because without a lot of "technical assistance" J lo is not much of a singer. Malek did a damned good job as Freddie. Not tall, but the rest worked. The one who bothered me was Joaquin Phoenix as Johnny Cash. I love Joaquin, But no.

by Anonymousreply 11304/05/2021

[quote] Don't forget Val Kilmer as Jim Morrison. I thought he was incredible. And I disagree with you about J Lo. IMO, she did resemble Selena. She's a little more voluptuous, but she did. It was just about all she had. Because without a lot of "technical assistance" J lo is not much of a singer. Malek did a damned good job as Freddie. Not tall, but the rest worked. The one who bothered me was Joaquin Phoenix as Johnny Cash. I love Joaquin, But no.

I forgot about Val, he was great as Jim Morrison. His speaking voice even sounded like Jim. With artfully applied makeup, Jennifer Lopez slightly resembled Selena, J Lo has a more bulbous and wider nose than Selena did. Perhaps I noticed these things because I'm a photographer.

Unless a performer is going to have a face full of latex prosthetics, some of the people who have portrayed important historical figures, looked nothing like them. Didn't Anthony Hopkins portray Nixon?! No resemblance whatsoever.

I sure didn't say J Lo, Rami or any of the other performers I listed, didn't do good work as the people they portrayed, I was solely talking about their appearance (most looked nothing like the famous people they portrayed) and, in some cases, their mannerisms were nothing like the people they portrayed.

To know what to look for in an actor's or actress' portrayal of a famous musician, I would assume, viewers would have to be a huge fan of a particular performer.

I thought Joaquin was great in the Cash film, but he looked nothing like Johnny and Reese Witherspoon looked absolutely nothing like June Carter Cash.

I've always felt, the only way a casting person will ever find a performer who closely resembles the famous person the film will be about, is to have an open casting and simply hire an unknown.

There must surely be unknown performers out there who resemble famous musicial icons.

by Anonymousreply 11404/05/2021

Aretha and Natalie Cole despised each other:

Cole idolized Franklin but was met with coldness during their first in-person encounter. She told Ritz, “The first time I saw Aretha was at an industry banquet. She gave me an icy stare and then turned her back on me. It took me weeks to recover. I mean, this is the woman whom I revere! She began this make-believe feud that I still don’t understand. I give her the highest respect—then, now, and always.”

Franklin, understandably, wasn’t thrilled at the comparisons with someone newer and younger. She told Jet in 1977, “It’s easy for a singer to sometimes pick up on another singer’s sound, but that’s just copying. It’s really a compliment that she sounds like me on some songs. In fact, when I listen to her I hear little things that remind me of myself at the beginning of my career…I don’t think she has the ability or the equipment to take anything from me and I’d say that to Natalie herself.”

by Anonymousreply 11504/05/2021

Aretha despised Beyonce:

Introducing Tina Turner for a 2008 Grammy awards performance, Beyoncè exclaimed, “Give it up for the queen!” Not the “Queen of Soul”, not the “Queen of Rock ‘n’ Roll” (which is Turner’s moniker). Simply, “the queen.” Watching from home, Franklin took offense, and released an official statement: “I am not sure of whose toes I may have stepped on or whose ego I may have bruised between the Grammy writers and Beyoncé, however, I dismissed it as a cheap shot for controversy,” Franklin’s press release read. She added an extra bit of cloud cover: “In addition to that, I thank the Grammys and the voting academy for my 20th Grammy and love to Beyoncé anyway.”

Turner, however, was unbothered. When USA Today asked her to respond to Franklin’s statement, she laughed it off. “She’s the queen of soul, and I’m the queen of rock ‘n’ roll… Her ego must be so big to think she was the only one.”

by Anonymousreply 11604/05/2021

Aretha and Dionne Warwick despised each other:

Last year Franklin got into a bizarre public feud with Warwick, accusing her of making up a story that Franklin was Whitney Houston’s godmother, even though the alleged offence happened five years previously at Houston’s funeral.

“She blatantly lied on me … fully well knowing what she was doing,” Franklin said in a phone interview.

Franklin also called the Associated Press, after sending a lengthy fax the day before, to address what she claimed was a “libellous” statement against her made five years ago at Houston’s funeral. At the time, Warwick told funeral-goers that Franklin was Houston’s godmother.

When asked if she wanted an apology from Warwick, she said: “I don’t care about her apology. At this point it isn’t about an apology, it’s about libel.” She went on: “We’ve never been friends and I don’t think that Dionne has ever liked me.”

Two legendary divas feuding — via fax! — about whether or not Franklin was Whitney Houston’s godmother? You couldn’t make it up.

by Anonymousreply 11704/05/2021

Her father really is to blame for all the quirks and psychosis and bullshit of Aretha's personality. He was a vey petty man. Thin- skinned, and a control freak. He had an enormous ego that governed his behavior and he "taught" Aretha a lot. She was his protege'. Everything revolved around her as an extension of himself. Her success reflected on him. He took all the credit.

by Anonymousreply 11804/05/2021

Dionne ripped off money she had raised for AIDs charities. I have never forgiven her for that.

by Anonymousreply 11904/05/2021

R117, don't forget her decades long feud with Gladys Knight, whom Ree ripped into in her bullshit autobiography, "From These Roots". And didn't she also bitch about Patti Labelle after the latter announced to everyone that Ree had pancreatic cancer? I think Ree, as usual, also announced plans for her own range of pies and said something about how Patti was going to get some competition.

One thing that struck me about Aretha was that she would always talk about some grandiose plans for major projects that would vault her back into the spotlight or become huge artistic hits, but nothing ever materialized. I realized she was full of shit and loved to make stuff up to seem more interesting and artistic.

by Anonymousreply 12004/05/2021

[Quote] While Aretha had so many hits, I don’t find that many worship her like they do, say, Whitney or Madonna. Her music just seems more aloof. I never play Aretha’s music although I have a few of her cds.

You're erroneously generalizing. Aretha was the first woman admitted to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1987, despite the fact that her first real success only occured in 1967. Her success at Atlantic was so great that she leapfrogged over many women and men who came before her. It's no coincidence that her Atlantic catalogue has been reissued so many times. Compare that to Whitney, whose reissues did not sell.

by Anonymousreply 12104/05/2021

I watched the entire run of eight episodes. Thought towards the end it was very "cut 'n paste" with the interspersing of the real Aretha performing. Was looking forward to seeing her triumphant singing at Obama's inauguration and then her electric performance at the Kennedy Center Honors for Carole King, and both those performances were reduced to still shots.

I have to say that I came back less enamored of Miss Franklin after seeing some of the crap she pulled on others. The show left some doors open on what could have really happened...including who the father was of her first born. Never heard of Glynn Turman being "down low" bisexual, having been married three times and still married.

by Anonymousreply 12204/05/2021

[quote] Was looking forward to seeing her triumphant singing at Obama's inauguration

“My cunt... tree ‘tis of thee....”

by Anonymousreply 12304/05/2021

Are there any scenes of Aretha faxing?

by Anonymousreply 12404/05/2021

"Never heard of Glynn Turman being "down low" bisexual, having been married three times and still married."

Was there some hint of that in the show? If so, I totally missed it. Turman disappears from the show in the 7th episode with no explanation at all.

The constant mutual admiration society scenes between Franklin and Clive Davis were cringeworthy. Davis can be a major SOB when he wants to. The last episode had a rushed "let's just get this thing over with" quality. Even Franklin's back-stabbing of her sister Carolyn was glossed over in the end so that we can have Saint Aretha.

by Anonymousreply 12504/05/2021

R125 what did Aretha do to her sister?

by Anonymousreply 12604/05/2021

Curtis Mayfield approached Carolyn Franklin to front the songs for the "Sparkle" soundtrack. Aretha stepped in and took the songs and their writer-producer. However, Mayfield had his own part to play in that.

by Anonymousreply 12704/05/2021

These kind of Youtube posters are usually bogus or completely subjective. This is not a vocal coach interpretation. But a true singer and theorist who understands the anatomy of singing as well as the gifts and struggles of great artists. I Luv Aretha Franklin gives great vocal analysis. Fantastic clips. Not just of a song - but of the gift, the use, the color, the growth, the lifestyle and the changes of the VOICE over time and a career. It's a vocal documentary. He may be a she, with a voice decoder in the narration. Your guess is as good as mine. I am a classically trained musician, sometime singer and was once a vocal coach too. THIS bitch knows what he's talking about!

Subscribe. He's done great and objective assessments of Whitney, Chaka and Dionne too. The channel is a joy of great performances too.

I learned a bit about Aretha from this. I know her voice well but because I am a fan, I was not as tuned in to how early she began to ruin it. The poster is erudite and knows music and singing - no doubt. This is not a gospel loving praiser of all bad habits. He understands not only vocal production, but in context of the life of the singer. A female voice should be at its greatest power and fulfillment in her mid forties to early fifties. She's a classicist. With a love for Aretha.


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by Anonymousreply 12804/05/2021

I watched the Dionne one and some of the research was poor.

by Anonymousreply 12904/05/2021

r128 is the "ancient white fags" shitposting troll.

by Anonymousreply 13004/05/2021

R128 is one of the most interesting and original posters here. He can't help it if ancient white fags need to be put in their place. Datalounge was once full of old white racist fags who called everyone a C*NT. Lucky for the rest of us, those posters are dying off. Literally.

by Anonymousreply 13104/05/2021

[Quote] [R128] is one of the most interesting and original posters here.

But you're r128, r131...

by Anonymousreply 13204/05/2021

Yes, of course I am. Unlike you I don't post from multiple devices. I have confidence in my voice, like my style and know my worth. Sexy as fuck too.

You fucking freak fool @ r132. You post all day from multiple devices and try to silence others. You're a sick old bitch. I ain't worried bout you. But it's hard to keep you blocked. Why? We've started another campaign to Mediopolis. It worked before.

Be gone. Shoo. Fuck off. Be like the ancient white f@gs and die soon. Please.

by Anonymousreply 13304/05/2021

The ancient white fags poster is a useless loser and Muriel should've banned him long ago. He also shits up any thread about a female singer. He's putrid.

by Anonymousreply 13404/05/2021

The thing @r133 needs to be permanently banned. This is unacceptable on a GLBT forum.

by Anonymousreply 13504/05/2021

Shut up, R8, you self-righteous twit.

by Anonymousreply 13604/05/2021

Except there is no Muriel. There are, however administrative personnel at Mediopolis R134 and R135. They are familiar with you. It's important to keep record of harassing posters and trolls who keep evading detection by changing their IP address and VPN frequently. "Muriel" is slow to respond, but you can be gotten rid of. In the interim, you're dead. My friends and I campaigned to eliminate another ubiquitous racist, scat obsessed poster, and it's gone. Shoo.

by Anonymousreply 13704/05/2021

r137 I've never changed IPs or VPNs. I've been on DL for years and have never had any problems. You're a fucking mental case and a shit-stirring troll and can just fuck off with your "ancient white fags" trollery.

by Anonymousreply 13804/05/2021

My friends = Me, myself & I?

by Anonymousreply 13904/05/2021

[quote]Muriel" is slow to respond, but you can be gotten rid of. In the interim, you're dead. My friends and I campaigned to eliminate another ubiquitous racist, scat obsessed poster, and it's gone.

You've been saying the same shit for years, you fucking freak.

by Anonymousreply 14004/05/2021


Oh, dear! You might want to learn the correct name of the company you claim to be in regular contact with 🙄

by Anonymousreply 14104/05/2021

Ha. I blocked r133 a year ago!

by Anonymousreply 14204/05/2021

It is gone. That poster. You don't miss the smell of racist shit? That thing can't start threads no more and there are lawsuits against any company that repeats its trash. You'll be gone soon too R141. But they're afraid you'll try to kill yourself or take vengeance on others. Like before. Do your worst. Your condition is sad. You have toned down the racial epithets, but you are still full of hate speech. You are too abusive and that is actionable. *Muriel* is well aware.

May Jesus visit healing to your troubled mind tonight. Everyone prays for your release.

by Anonymousreply 14304/05/2021

CC Bloom?

by Anonymousreply 14404/05/2021

Get fucked r143. You are a psycho.

by Anonymousreply 14504/05/2021

And you are an abscess R145. May Jesus visit healing to your diseased areas this night. While you are sleeping. Amen.

by Anonymousreply 14604/05/2021

Ancient white fags shitstain troll gets called out and can't handle it. Why don't you go complain to "Mediopolis" bitch?

by Anonymousreply 14704/05/2021

Does Muriel have a fax?

by Anonymousreply 14804/05/2021


by Anonymousreply 14904/05/2021

[quote] Are there any scenes of Aretha faxing?

It's a pity the lovely woman who created Got2BeReal decided she'd done enough and gave a fond send-off to the series. Aretha faxing the AP and providing some bizarre comment about libel would have been comedy gold if Got2BeReal had ever tackled it.

by Anonymousreply 15004/05/2021

Lovely woman? She deleted her channel.

by Anonymousreply 15104/06/2021

Aretha hated Natalie because she broke her lock on the best female R&B Grammy award in 1977 and '78. She jealously kept her sisters Erma and Carolyn from achieving success for themselves and was none too happy about Roberta Flack working for the same record label. She acquiesced to duets with George Michael (which was her second and last Billboard Hot 100 #1 song after Respect), Annie Lennox and Whitney Houston in the late 1980s solely to keep her name on the charts after the Luther Vandross-produced albums got no traction. For someone anointed as a "genius" her catalog is really hit or miss. Considering the festering negativity towards other women present in all phases of her career, fluctuating weight, horrible diet, smoking/drinking and reckless financial mismanagement it's a wonder she lived as long as she did.

by Anonymousreply 15204/06/2021

How did she keep her sisters from achieving success when they were on different record labels? The "Sparkle" story is separate to this point.

by Anonymousreply 15304/06/2021

Carolyn wrote "Ain't No Way." It was a hit. Carolyn sang back up on it and arranged it, too. They were a lot closer than people realized. And Erma and Carolyn sang back up on a lot of her recordings for a while. Cecil was her business manager (disaster) for a while. She kept he siblings close, but she always held primacy.

She did screw them over with the Curtis Mayfield thing, but truthfully, Curtis asked for her first, wanted to work for her. IMO, I think he gamed the situation, when he agreed to work with her sister as a way to get to her. It worked. In the earlier days, I don't think she was motivated by fear that her sisters would eclipse her so much as it was because of how all of them were raised.

She was the one her father groomed. She "had a gift", she was special, she was "the one. " That was hardwired into her from childhood. She took it as he due. And she supported all of them financially. All of them. Cecil, his wife after he died, his kids after his wife died, etc. I don't think either sister had any kids. Their lives revolved around first, their father, then Aretha. C.L. Franklin didn't raise them to work together as equals. They were raised to support Aretha. Aretha was always going to be his Number One.

by Anonymousreply 15404/06/2021

Carolyn was lesbian.

by Anonymousreply 15504/06/2021

I'm surprised that Aretha had more hits than Dionne Warwick, since Dionne was more of a mainstream pop artist. It's even more surprising that Aretha had more Hot 100 hits than Madonna and Beyonce!

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by Anonymousreply 15604/06/2021

Scepter was kind of a janky label.

by Anonymousreply 15704/06/2021

I absolutely ADORE this performance. People forget she was actually cool, and could be sexy, when she was younger.

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by Anonymousreply 15804/06/2021

She slays "The Shoop Shoop Song (It's In His Kiss)" here. Her studio recording is staid by comparison.

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by Anonymousreply 15904/06/2021

The girl playing Aretha as a kid is good. She can really sing, too

by Anonymousreply 16004/06/2021

I love that R159! Fantastic.

by Anonymousreply 16104/06/2021

I love Aretha's original recording of Ain't No Way and Cissy Houston on backup is sublime. It's a beautiful composition by Carolyn with a brilliant arrangement.

The tasteless shrieker Patti LaYelle screamed out a tacky, vulgar rendition of that beautiful song in what was intended to be a tribute. Aretha was not the least bit impressed by LaYelle's awful showboating. It was beyond awful.

by Anonymousreply 16204/06/2021

R159 that’s Darlene Love (with the Blossoms) raising her hand up in the air every time Aretha takes it to church. The Blossoms were Shindig’s in house back up vocalists.

by Anonymousreply 16304/06/2021

Aretha and Dionne both had lesbian sisters. Carolyn Franklin was pretty and feminine, but DeeDee Warwick was a total bulldozer.

by Anonymousreply 16404/06/2021

Erivo does a good American accent...I didn't even know she was British until I googled her

by Anonymousreply 16504/06/2021

I think Dee Dee photographed better than Dionne at the outset of their careers. She was big boned, though, so 1960s fashions in general weren't her friend.

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by Anonymousreply 16604/06/2021

Dionne and Dee Dee in the... 1990s, I guess.

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by Anonymousreply 16704/06/2021

Ain't nobody like her. Nobody.

by Anonymousreply 16804/06/2021

I don't get it, r47. Why was Aretha Dionne's house? And she said "I like to speak to the ..." what? What was said?

by Anonymousreply 16904/06/2021

"I'd like to speak to The Millionairess."

by Anonymousreply 17004/07/2021

You gotta love this.... she is serious....

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by Anonymousreply 17104/07/2021
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