‘American Idol’ Fracas: Aretha Franklin Responds to ‘Today’ Show Host Kathie Lee Gifford

Lance Debler / July 18, 2012

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Aretha Franklin wants a little respect from Kathie Lee Gifford.

On Monday, the Today show host said on-air that the Queen of Soul might not hack it as a judge on American Idol.

“If they are looking for a younger demographic, there are a lot of kids out there (who) actually don’t know who Aretha Franklin is. It’s sad, but they don’t,” Gifford said.

Franklin, in turn, has basically responded with an “Oh no she didn’t!” What did she say in response?

In an email to CCN, she wrote: “My audience and fans span the age of eight to 90! And are multi-ethnic, and I am very well known to young adults, tweens and teens. ..I’m surprised Kathie Lee did not research my worldwide celebrity audience! She’s usually right on top of things with a great sense of humor, but she’s totally wrong this time. She should research me before she speaks about me. I’m sure she thought she was right; still enjoy Hoda and Kathie Lee!”

Franklin went on to further throw her hat in the ring for one of the Idol spots that have been left vacant by departing judges Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler.

“I could enjoy being a judge for a season or two. Let’s kick it up a few notches and have a slammin’, jammin’ season,” she wrote.

Gifford, meanwhile, has already offered a mea culpa.

“I need to apologize to a certain Ms. Aretha, apparently,” she said on Tuesday’s broadcast of Today, before insisting she meant the Queen no disrespect. “There is no one in the world like [her] — she is one of a kind.”

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