Aretha Franklin has denied that she upset the late Whitney Houston’s family with comments made in a recent Today interview.
The Queen of Soul appeared to reference the ‘Run To You’ singer’s admitted drug use in her interview with Today‘s Al Roker last week when she said parents need to be sure their kids “leave home prepared” for the troubles of the world.
Franklin later backed out of a scheduled appearance at Houston’s funeral last Saturday (February 18), saying that she had been suffering leg spasms on the morning of the memorial.
Her absence at the service led to some speculation that the Houston family had been angered by Franklin’s comments on Today and actually had asked her not to attend.
Franklin has now clarified that there is no rift between her and the Houston family.
“Cissy Houston and I have been longtime friends for almost 50 years. I have four invitations and parking passes that were sent to me for the funeral,” the R&B icon said in a statement. “Cissy does not need ridiculous speculation and neither do I – particularly at this time.”
Franklin also chinned Today for not airing her full statements about parents warning their children against drug use.
“Knowing Cissy as well as I do, I know Whitney left home right and properly. I was generalising and it was a well-intended statement for any young adult coming into the music industry,” she said.
Franklin paid tribute to Houston at her concert at New York City’s Radio City Music Hall on Saturday (February 18), hours after the funeral took place in Newark, NJ.
The Queen of Soul told concert-goers before singing Houston’s classic ‘I Will Always Love You’: “She was giving, gave so much of herself… God bless you, Nippy. We’ll always remember.”