Aretha Franklin, the Queen of Soul, died Thursday at the age of 76. And while she will be remembered for her otherworldly singing voice, she will also be remembered for another one of her talents: not giving a fuck.
Befitting of a woman of her talent, hard work, and accomplishments, Aretha had NO TIME for ANYONE'S nonsense. She wasn't here to beat around the bush or sugarcoat things. She was a straight shooter who told it like it was. Here are some of her most iconic moments where she didn't B.S. ANYONE, but was classy and never mean about it.
1.For starters, when the Wall Street Journal asked her to play a word association game about modern singers, and for Taylor Swift all she could say was, "OK, great gowns. Beautiful gowns."
2.But Taylor got off easy! When asked about Nicki Minaj, she paused for a second, and then curtly answered, "I'm going to pass on that one!"
4.Then there's this interview with HLN, where she basically says the judges on talent shows like American Idol aren't necessarily qualified for the gig. "Some of the leading singers should judge singers," she said. "But I don't see major names as a singer judging singers."
5.Later in the show, when the interviewer asked Aretha what she thought of Mariah's reported $18 million payday for the gig. Aretha immediately questioned the veracity of the number, asking, "You think so? Do you know that?" When the interviewer said someone close to the show confirmed the number, Aretha further questioned, "Inside sources? Would that be her husband?"
6.During VH1's inaugural Diva's Live show, Aretha somehow managed to out-belt Mariah Carey, Gloria Estefan, Celine Dion, Carole King, and Shania Twain, who were all on stage with her. She even managed to sing OVER Dion at one point during "(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman," even though it clearly was Dion's turn to sing.
7.After Diana Ross infamously coddled Lil Kim's breast onstage at the 1999 VMAs, Aretha told Oprah, "Be careful and don't touch me up top here," and motioned to her chest when the TV host noted the two singers were from the same neighborhood.
8.When she dropped her fur off in one gesture as she took the stage at the 2014 BET Honors, and became an iconic GIF in the process.
9.And then when she repeated the fur-dropping maneuver again, this time at the 2015 Kennedy Center Honors MID-NOTE while the Obamas were in the building.
10.On a similar note, when she literally snatched her own wig onstage during the middle of her performance and once again became an iconic GIF.
11.This interview moment is pretty iconic. When asked by Time if her travel habits (she doesn't like to fly) had hindered her career, Aretha was having NONE OF IT. She not only tossed her hair to the side two times (to show that she means business), but she referred to herself as "Miss Franklin" in the third person. To top it all off, she says she's been "everywhere except across the ocean." Yep, she literally just dismissed several continents as if they didn't matter.
12.Her interview with Wendy Williams is chock-full of amazing moments — Aretha is clearly not here to put up with ANY of the host's antics. First, she's incredibly blunt about Halle Berry's credentials to play her in a potential biopic...
13....and her response to the idea of Queen Latifah playing her is equally as short.
14.At one point, Aretha jokingly asks Wendy if she can help finance her biopic since the TV host is insisting it needs to be made ASAP. When Wendy says her show is only in its second season and she thus doesn't have enough money, Aretha's response is AMAZING:
15.Also during the interview, Wendy says she thinks Aretha is just as capable as any other woman at falling for a man. Aretha's "Do you think I'm gullible?" reply is so, so, so powerful and to the point, and then she goes on to drag Wendy, saying, "You get stupid. I'm not gonna be stupid anymore."
16.And finally, let's end with the clapback to end all clapbacks. When New York Post columnist Liz Smith wrote that Aretha's choice in clothing was inappropriate for her body type, the diva sent this scathing letter in response. MIC. DROP.
h/t to this video which highlights some of Aretha's best diva moments.
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