At the age of 68, the legendary Queen of Soul is readying to add the Queen of Crossover title to her winner's belt.
Yes, Aretha Franklin is working on an album of operatic arias, and this summer she'll be singing some of them in three charity concerts with ex-Secretary of State, Tool of Satan and classical pianist Condoleezza Rice.
From a recent Billboard interview (note how delicately she distances herself from her accompanist's politics):
Billboard: I remember hearing that you were working on an album of arias.
Franklin: Yes, I am working on some arias. Speaking of the arias, I am going to be doing three concerts over the summer, myself and Condoleezza Rice. Ms. Rice is a consummate classical pianist, and (since) I sing the arias, I thought that we could do something, a bipartisan effort for our favorite charities.
Billboard: What is it about opera that you find so moving?
Franklin: I love the melodies, and I find that without even knowing who the composer is, I seem to gravitate to Puccini melodies. Some of the Mozart piano sonatas I like a lot. We've always had some classical music in my home from the time that I was a child. I've always heard it and it's always been there. And as a growing artist, I now seem to appreciate the classical side of myself as well.