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The one thing about Aretha Franklin is that she was never afraid to speak her mind. The Queen of Soul throughout her career never hesitated to let you know exactly how she felt, even if it meant she might hurt somebodies feelings. When you are the greatest singer of all time you have no patience for people who could be coming for your thrown. Aretha demanded R-E-S-P-E-C-T and when she felt she wasn’t getting it, she would let the world know. It’s part of what made Aretha a true Diva and lets be honest, we loved her candor and the way she could throw shade in the classiest way possible, without missing a beat. Here are just a few of her famous feuds and “shadiest” moments

Dionne Warwick

Thursday Dionne Warwick issued a beautiful statement about Aretha’s passing. “Our Heavenly Father has chosen one of our most prolific voices to join His Heavenly Choir,” Warwick wrote. “Aretha now rests in peace!” But if we are going to really keep it 100, these to have not seen eye to eye for years.

Here’s the backstory. First there is the professional shade. Just months after Dionne made Say A Little Prayer a hit, Aretha recorded the song and made it an even bigger hit. The songs writer and producer called Aretha’s version the definitive recording. But things didn’t really bubble over and go public until years later.

At Whitney Houston’s funeral Dionne referred to Aretha as the late singers god mother. Apparently that did not sit well with Aretha and it stuck with her. Five years later during a phone interview, the Queen of Soul let it be known, that she had not forgotten about Dionne’s comments. “She blatantly lied on me … fully well knowing what she was doing,” Franklin said during the interview. She even went as far as faxing the Associated Press to tell them that the statement, made at the funeral five years earlier was “libelous”. When asked if she wanted an apology from Dionne she dropped this gem, “I don’t care about her apology. At this point it isn’t about an apology, it’s about libel.” adding, “We’ve never been friends and I don’t think that Dionne has ever liked me.”

Patti Labelle 

Aretha was good for creating a viral moment and this was one of them. Aretha was at the White House to perform, and after being introduced she made a grand entrance. Let me rephrase that, she entered the room like the Queen, and you know the rule nobody touches the Queen. Watch closely and checkout what happens when Patti Labelle reaches out to touch Aretha. That my friends is quality shade, Aretha style.


Beyonce and Jay Z paid tribute to Aretha last week when the OTR Two tour hit Detroit. The couple dedicated the concert to Franklin and sent love to the ailing singer. Beyonce has loved and respected Franklin but apparently Aretha was not happy with one particular moment from the past. During the 2008 Grammys Beyonce introduced Tina Turner as the Queen, and that did not sit well with Aretha. The Queen of Soul was so angered by the moment while watching the broadcast at home, she felt the need to issue a public statement. “I am not sure of whose toes I may have stepped on or whose ego I may have bruised between the Grammy writer and Beyoncé,” she later told reporters. “However, I dismissed it as a cheap shot for controversy.”

Celine Dion 

During VH1’s Diva’s live concert in 1998, Celine and Aretha had a moment, and to her credit the Queen of Canada tried to test the Queen of Soul, but come on now.

Gladys Knight

Gladys Knight issued this statement about the passing of Aretha, “Well my sister our Father in Heaven has called you home, but we are so very grateful to him for blessing you with such an awesome gift to share with us. Your music set a standard for every single lady in this industry to rise to. You have touched minds, hearts and spirits, including my own.” Beautiful words from Gladys but apparently words that they might not have exchanged if Aretha were alive.

In her memoir Knight cites several instances when Aretha snubbed her. According to Gladys, one time at the Grammys, the two women passed each other in the hall. When Gladys said hello, Aretha kept on walking, not bothering to acknowledge her. Aretha claimed that never happened. Gladys, in turn, claimed it happened all the time.

Halle Berry 

Aretha originally wanted Halle Berry to play her in the Queen of Soul biopic. Halle, who is not a singer, respectfully declined the offer, which led to this moment of shade when Aretha sat down with Wendy Williams.


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