Music aside, Aretha Franklin excited for fair food
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — There’s something beyond delivering a set packed with her hits that’s got Aretha Franklin jazzed about America’s summer fair season: the food.
Ahead of her Thursday performance at the Ohio State Fair, the Queen of Soul says she’s eager to track down some elephant ears, a fair staple of fried dough sprinkled with powdered sugar.
“I’m looking forward to it,” she says. “I love the state fair, and I love the elephant ears.”
There may be plenty of opportunities for fried treats ahead, given that her busy 2014 tour also includes performances at the Wisconsin and Minnesota state fairs.
Franklin says her Ohio performance will be packed with familiar songs, selections from an upcoming CD being produced by Babyface and Andre 3000, and “a few surprises; I love surprises.”
After some health issues, the R&B diva says she’s feeling as good as she did in her 50s but prefers not to focus on her age now.
“I am certainly old enough to be out after midnight,” the 72-year-old star says.
She says she’s planning a vacation to New York after her Wisconsin gig, including a stop at the U.S. Open. She also is taking French lessons and studying classical piano.
Franklin says she has begun to hear the classical training in her style and inflections and expects audiences will, too. She aspires to be as good as legendary classical pianist Vladimir Horowitz or jazz greats Art Tatum or Oscar Peterson.
“That is the level I want to be playing at,” she says.
Her upcoming recording doesn’t have a name yet, but Franklin says she’s six tracks and five vocals into it. She expects to finish the final three cuts in August.
It features pop hits such as “Midnight Train to Georgia,” ″What’s Love Got To Do With It,” Donna Summer’s disco classic “Last Dance” and Alicia Keys’ “Fallin’.”