Posts Tagged ‘Aretha Franklin’

Tony Bennett becomes oldest living artist to top US charts

October 1, 2011

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At the age of 85, Tony Bennett has entered the record books as the oldest living artist in history to top the US charts. His latest album, Tony Bennett: Duets II, has reached the summit of the US Billboard chart 54 years after his album Tony reached No. 14 in 1957.

The record for ‘oldest chart-topper’ was previously held by Bob Dylan who reached No. 1 at the age of 67 in 2009 with his album Together Through Life.

The all-star line-up of artists joining Bennett live in the studio on Tony Bennett: Duets II includes Lady Gaga, Aretha Franklin, Mariah Carey, Natalie Cole, Sheryl Crow, Norah Jones, the late Amy Winehouse, and many more. 


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Aretha Franklin to release new album in May

April 29, 2011

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Soul legend Aretha Franklin, 68, has announced she will start performing concerts again at the end of May, only months after being admitted to hospital and undergoing surgery for an undisclosed illness. She also plans to release her long-awaited new album, Aretha: A Woman Falling Out of Love, in early May.

Last November, the Queen of Soul cancelled all concerts and public appearances for six months under doctor’s orders – amid speculation that she had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, something she has strongly denied. In December, she had what she described as “more than minor surgery”.

In January, she told US magazine Jet that she was “feeling great” and said her medical condition had been resolved. Since then, she has revamped her diet and lost a significant amount of weight.

“I want to not only maintain the weight I am at now, but better it by one dress size,” she told the Associated Press news agency. “You can’t continue to eat things that are not good for you.” The singer says she has been working out three times a week and hopes to get down to size 16.

Franklin’s new album, Aretha: A Woman Falling Out of Love, includes collaborations with R. Kelly and Billy Dee Williams. “It’s definitely going to take the boomers back,” she said, “but it’s also contemporary with respect to other writers and production.”

The album features an eclectic mix of older songs – such as ‘Theme From a Summer Place’, ‘The Way We Were’ and ‘My Country ‘Tis of Thee’’ – and new material, including two songs written by Aretha herself (‘This You Should Know’ and ‘How Long I’ve Waited’). In addition, the track ‘His Eye is On the Sparrow’ showcases her son, Eddie Franklin, and is produced by Aretha.

Full tracklisting:

  • How Long I’ve Waited
  • Sweet Sixteen
  • This You Should Know
  • U Can’t See Me
  • Theme From A Summer Place
  • The Way We Were
  • New Day
  • Put It Back Together Again
  • Faithful (featuring Karen Clark-Sheard)
  • His Eye Is On The Sparrow (Performed by Eddie Franklin)
  • When Two Become One
  • My Country ‘Tis of Thee

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Aretha Franklin to release album of classical music

October 29, 2008


‘Queen of Soul’ Aretha Franklin has revealed she is planning to record an album of classical music – and reportedly spent the summer studying to play the piano with classically-trained musicians at New York’s prestigious Juilliard School.


The legendary 66-year-old soul singer says she plans to both sing and play on the classical album. “I came to New York this summer and I took some classical piano lessons – just the basics,” she said. “I’m going to be singing arias on the album, including ‘Nessun Dorma’.”


Aretha is also about to release the first-ever Christmas album in her 52-year career. Titled This Christmas – Aretha, the 11-track album features classic and contemporary songs performed in Aretha’s trademark gospel, soul and R&B styles. Tracks include her version of Donny Hathaway’s ‘This Christmas’, and traditional songs such as ‘Silent Night’, ‘Ave Maria’ and ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas’.


Aretha recently revealed she has finally found a cure for the throat problems that have hampered her voice for years. She has to try to stop talking!


The winner of 20 Grammy Awards said: “I used to get laryngitis, and I couldn’t understand why. Then it dawned on me I was wearing out my voice box. I was over-singing and talking when I should just be keeping quiet.”

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