Aretha Franklin blasts American Idol criticism

Aretha Franklin blasts American Idol criticism

Soul legend Aretha Franklin has fired off a terse email to two U.S. talk show hosts after they questioned the star's suitability as a judge on American Idol.

The Queen of Soul has been vocal about her desire to replace one of the departing judges, Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler, on the popular TV talent competition as producers scramble to find a new line-up, but not everyone agrees she's a good fit.

And when Today presenters Kathie Lee Gifford and Hoda Kotb shared their thoughts about the matter during their morning programme this week, Franklin responded.

Gifford mused, "If they (producers) 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."

The Respect hitmaker took offence to the comments and she responded by sending a curt message to Gifford and Kotb.

The email, obtained by CNN, reads: "While I enjoy Kathie Lee and Hoda daily, her assessment is totally wrong! 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... She (Gifford) should research me before she speaks about me."

Franklin also hit back at claims her fear of flying would make it difficult for any potential American Idol judge to travel across the U.S. for the contest's audition stages.

She added, "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."

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