Will Aretha Franklin’s Flying Phobia Affect A Possible ‘American Idol’ Gig? Plus 11 Other Stars Who Are Afraid of the Friendly Skies (PHOTOS)

By: Lance Debler / July 17, 2012

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Aretha Franklin threw her hat into the American Idol ring this week – albeit unofficially – when a friend said she’s ready to replace departing judges Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler.

“She would love that gig,” the pal told the NY Daily News. “It pays millions of dollars, and she could stay put [in one place] for a few months.”

But she wouldn’t stay put at all. Franklin would be expected to travel from state to state for Idol auditions, and therein lies the problem: the Queen of Soul has an infamous fear of flying that could prevent her from traveling quickly.

Franklin isn’t the only celebrity who’s afraid of the friendly skies: Jennifer Aniston, Colin Farrell, Megan Fox and a slew of others all abhor airplanes. To see which stars suffer from aviophobia, view our gallery, above.

Interestingly, Franklin wasn’t always afraid to fly: her phobia developed in February 1984, when she canceled two shows in Kansas City and then rescheduled her entire tour because she suddenly couldn’t board a plane.

“Every now and then, this happens — someone who travels thousands of miles every year suddenly can’t face getting on an airplane,” her tour director, John Sdoucos, said at the time. “I’ve talked to her doctor, her psychiatrist, and I know it’s genuine.”

That fear has come at a price. In an interview with Glamour magazine, Franklin once revealed: “I turned down two singing opportunities in my career because of a fear of flying: one for the Queen of England and one at the pyramids.”

Unlike Franklin, some stars have specific reasons they dislike air travel: Aniston, for one, was once caught in an electric storm mid-air — and quickly decided she’d never be “Friends” with the not-so-friendly skies. Cher, meanwhile, got spooked when the plane she was riding developed engine trouble and had to make an emergency landing.

Which star had the worst in-air experience? View our gallery — then sound off in the comments.


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