Aretha Franklin vs Tina Turner: the Battle of the Queens continues

Tina Turner and Aretha Franklin, two of music’s most lasting and influential women vocalists, are in a war of words, focusing primarily on one: Queen. Turner, 68, performed with Beyonce at the Grammy’s last year and was introduced by Knowles as “the queen” when she joined her onstage. This did not sit well with Franklin, long known as the Queen of Soul, and she set off what has turned into a war of words by issuing a statement the following day.

The day after the Grammy telecast, the 66-year-old ‘Respect’ singer released a statement that said: “I am not sure of whose toes I may have stepped on or whose ego I may have bruised between the Grammy writers and Beyoncé. However, I dismissed it as a cheap shot for controversy.”

Turner told USA Today that she wasn’t surprised by Franklin’s overreaction to the incident.

“Aretha has always been like that. We’ve always accepted that from her. She’s the queen of soul, and I’m the queen of rock ‘n’ roll. There were so many kings and queens there that night. Her ego must be so big to think she was the only one,” she laughed. “That’s how queens are!”

[From Urban Music 2000]

Not to be outdone, because, evidently, that’s how queens are, Aretha, 66, has responded in kind to her rival in music royalty.

“I have always appreciated what Tina Turner has to offer and had quietly cheered her on after Ike and her subsequent success. However, with respect to her statement concerning my ego (in saying, ‘Her ego must be so big to think she was the only one … that’s how queens are’) clearly she was talking about herself as she described herself as the ‘Queen of Rock’ and saying ‘that’s what Queens do’ — particularly since she does not have a clue as to who I am in view of the fact that we have never met.

“I never figured her to resort to tacky press just to sell a few tickets. I understand and I know that the concert market is down where ticket sales are concerned. I really had put her in a different class — higher than that.

“Finally, no one has been more gracious or complimentary to their peers than I have and I am confident and secure enough to do so, unlike some others. I wish Ms. Turner all the best, as I always have. Perhaps one day we will meet.”

[From USA Today]

I was surprised to read that Tina Turner and Aretha Franklin have never met. Two legendary icons of R&B music would seemingly have been at the same place at the same time at some point over the last 40 years. But maybe old rivalries we never knew about die hard and they’ve made a point of not being on the same billing or guest list.

Turner’s response to the 8-month old incident came last week during a USA Today interview for her newly launched “Tina Turner Live” tour. Franklin has a holiday album, This Christmas Aretha, coming out on Monday. Something tells me Franklin and Turner might know each other a little better than they’re letting on. These women are clearly old pros at garnering publicity when the time is right.

Tina Turner is shown on 7/3/08 in Paris with Giorgio Armani. Credit: WENN. Aretha Franklin is shown on 9/11/08 in NY and 8/27/08 at the US Open with Billie Jean King and Kelsey Grammar. Credit: Ray Filmano / WENN; HRC/WENN

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23 Responses to “Aretha Franklin vs Tina Turner: the Battle of the Queens continues”

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  1. They should have a sing off and we all get to vote American Idol style. My money’s on Aretha.

  2. geronimo says:

    Ha! Good one! Love them both but yeah, Aretha’s response is just dripping with queeniness so I think, for the moment, I’m in Aretha’s corner too.

  3. MSat says:

    I love ‘em both, but Aretha’s attitude is notorious in the music business. When I was doing PR in New York I heard stories from people in the know about how she treated the other female singers backstage at the VH1 “Divas” concerts that would make your hair stand on end.

  4. Enn says:

    Seriously? Aretha, buy a bra and then come and talk to me about being “royalty.” Anyway, I took Tina’s response to be a sort of joking one, like she was trying to defuse the situation. There’s a difference between a a queen and a diva, and Aretha is a DIVA.

  5. gg says:

    I thought Tina was trying to defuse the remarks, that replied to the Grammys and Beyonce, and Aretha really showed her ass (no pun intended) on this one.
    Shame on you Aretha – grow up. Tina has outclassed you this time.

  6. DarthVadersLoveChild says:

    TINA hands down! Just look at the pictures. Tina is Gorgeous. Aretha, oh dear. A real queen would never appear in public like that. Aretha is a an uncouth big sloppy mess whom I have always imagined smells of gravy.

  7. Syko says:

    Agree with gg – Tina seemed to be trying to smooth it out, but Aretha was having none of that.

    Team Tina.

  8. vdantev says:

    Team Tina !! Aretha, I love your voice but seriously, put down the fork !!

  9. journey says:

    they can spit-cat-fight all they want so long as they keep making the music.

  10. aeiguana says:

    I Think the two know each other better, But I’m on the Tina side, voice, style, grace, dignity, beauty and ofcorse the LEGs. How Aretha looks sorry i don’t wright down the words..Ugly….and more of this.

    Tina Simply The Best.
    Go Tina :D

  11. daisy424 says:

    Tina has certainly aged better than Aretha. 8O
    But I have a soft spot for Aretha. Loved seeing her sing ‘Think’ in Blues brothers, dancing around with her slippers on. :P

    My Mom could hit a moving target at 30 yards with her slipper.

  12. mandee says:

    Team Tina!! Aretha’s boobs and back look like they hurt ALOT 8O

  13. Imani says:

    I am truly disappointed in Ms. Franklin. I have always held her in high esteem. However, her behavior over the Queen comment was tragic and reeked of hateration.

    Let’s get clear. There is no royalty in American and countries where there is royalty, there are Queens for different countries, tribes etc… Get over yourself Queen Arethea. There is room on the throne for more than one Queen, in spite of your girth.

    The Queen of Soul, Queen of Hip Hop Soul, Queen of Neo- Soul, Queen of Pop. Whatever. Plenty of Queens. We don’t hear the guys discussing this mess. Michael despite his circumstances is still the King of Pop, James Brown, the Godfather of Soul. Stop it ladies.

  14. Robert Wilde says:

    While I grew up admiring both vocalists, it gets clearer by the day that it is possible to be out of touch with reality.
    I know that we African Americans have dubbed Tina the ‘High Priestess of Soul/Queen of Rock,’ and Aretha was long ago ‘proclaimed Queen of Soul,’ but don’t allow yourselves to believe that titles aren’t a “Dime a Dozen”, to borrow a phrase from Carla Thomas, ‘Queen of the Memphis Sound.’ [We also had Dinah Washington, ‘Queen of Rhythm ‘n’ Blues’; Billie “Lady Day” Holiday; “Ella ‘First lady of Song’ Fitzgerald”; and even ‘Empress of the Blues’ Bessie Smith.
    Lest these two uniquely talented women forget, Marie Antoinette was once Queen of France, and she, too, lost her head!

  15. brista says:

    They can fight the battle all they want, but Queen Latifah has already won the war. :D

  16. JCaldwo3 says:

    The two have met before. I don’t believe Aretha Franklin. They have been to plenty of events at the same time. I saw a clip where Patti Labelle sang in tribute to Aretha, and after Tina Turner speaking to Aretha after that performance. Aretha does have the kind of attitude like she’s the queen of all queens and she needs to get over it because queens do get dethrone, and there are plenty of queens out there.

  17. Toni says:

    I believe that Aretha needs to let it go. Tina definintly has more class than that walrus.

  18. Ruslan says:

    after all
    all in all


  19. Ivory says:

    Love me some Tina! She looks great for a 68 year old. Especially the legs!

  20. desi james says:

    tina turner and aretha were actually sitting side by side (although separated by an aisle). patti labelle humbly gave aretha a tribute that night by singing ain’t no way… watch the last 5 seconds of this clip as proof!

  21. OK Sooo let me tell how ARETHA is a LIAR/FULL OF BS! ~~~~> that link is two a picture i found and twit-picked of Aretha, Lena Horne, AND TINA TURNER meeting/greeting at the Essence Awards which TINA WAS BEING HONORED AT!