Aretha Franklin Disses Kathie Lee Gifford Over Lack of Research

It’s no news that the soul singer Aretha Franklin is interested in judging on American Idol now that both Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler announced that they’re ready to bow out. On paper the idea seems pretty great, but if it was up to Today host Kathie Lee Gifford, it would be a different story.

Kathie Lee Gifford went on air and said that Aretha Franklin would be irrelevant as the younger American Idol viewing audience has no idea who she is. “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.”

An E! correspondent Jason Kennedy also weighed in during the Today show segment saying, “She doesn’t like to fly and that will make it hard for her to travel across the country for auditions.”

Upon hearing these statements made by Kathie Lee, Aretha Franklin demanded respect, and dished it out in an e-mail that CNN obtained with permission from the soul singer. The e-mail addressed the comments made, with Franklin stating, “While I enjoy Kathie Lee and Hoda daily, her assessment is totally wrong! I’ve been to California from Detroit four times this year and Florida. I go wherever I choose to go comfortably on my custom bus.”

Aretha was quick to point out that maybe it was Kathie Lee’s research that needed a little work, “Further, my audience and fans span the age of 8 to 90! And are multi-ethnic, and I am very well known to young adults, tweens and teens. Their parents play my music and I take care of my business whenever I sign on the dotted line!” Later in the letter she added, “She should research me before she speaks about me.”

Do you think Aretha Franklin had the right to be offended?