Aretha Franklin rocked the Fox last night to a sold out crowd. She opened the show with Higher and Higher looking fabulous in a green kaftan. The Queen of Soul, who turns 70 next month, also sang the old time gospel Precious Memories in a duet with Bishop Paul Morton, that has me teared up just thinking about it. That’s a hymn that is sung at many a southern Baptist funeral for you non-southerners. It will make you bawl like a baby.Franklin sang 18 songs in total, closing the show out on a high note singing Respect.
Oprah Winfrey’s OWN channel has certainly not risen to the level of success that she expected. We may have all tuned in to the final episode and felt a bit wistful that it was the end of an era, but we didn’t really go dashing off to OWN to maintain a connection with her. Mostly because Oprah wasn’t really on camera much for the first year. I tried to catch an occasional behind the scenes show about the last season of The Oprah Winfrey Show, but other than that, there was not much there to watch. Her life classes were more pompous than enlightening and the boring reality shows were always on against more established and interesting shows on other channels.
Now Oprah has a new show she hopes will boost the network ratings. In January, Oprah premiered, Oprah’s Next Chapter. It’s probably a great show, but it’s on on Sunday nights on a network everyone forgets to check. Tomorrow night’s episode is a pajama party with Paula Deen at her house in Savannah. A quick look at her website lets you know that most of the shows have been in the can for weeks.
Oprah is inserting a new show into the lineup on March 11th when she will be interviewing Bobbi Kristina, Whitney Houston’s brother, Gary and his wife Patricia. According to the press release, “Bobbi Kristina shares personal memories of her mom and how she would like the iconic superstar to be remembered. The family also addresses the rumours and speculation surrounding Houston’s death.”It will be interesting to see if Oprah addresses the rumors of Bobbi’s own drug use, the Bobby Brown Funeral debacle,and Aretha Franklin’s lack of attendance. Before the show airs OWN will re-air Remembering Whitney: The Oprah Interview, which includes her 2009 interview along with her personal memories. It seems to me like this entire interview was probably filmed just a day or two after the burial for it to be fully edited to air in a week. It will be interesting to see what is included in the show…if we can remember to watch.
Aretha Franklin is not happy with speculation about the reason she was unable to attend the funeral of her god daughter. Several news outlets and gossip sites have speculated that Franklin’s interview with Al Roker where she said that “parents have to really talk to their children before they leave home” caused a rift between Franklin and Whitney’s mother Cissy, her longtime friend. Franklin released the following statement this morning.
“Extra TV, the New York Post and Newsday (New York) should stop the BS. Cissy Houston and I have been longtime friends for almost 50 years. I have four invitations and parking passes that were sent to me for the funeral. Extra TV, the New York Post and Newsday (New York) are more interested in sensationalism and negative speculations than the truth.
Cissy does not need ridiculous speculation and neither do I – particularly at this time … Knowing Cissy as well as I do, I know Whitney left home right and properly. I was generalizing and it was a well-intended statement for any young adult coming into the music industry. I was not speaking of anyone specifically.”
I still think she could have managed the drive and it still seems odd to me. Are y’all buying this?
|Whitney Houston’s Casket
After a long day of grieving and celebrating the lost life of Whitney Houston, she was finally laid to rest today in Fairview Cemetery in Westfield, NJ. Whitney was buried beside her father, John Russell Houston, who died in 2003 at the age of 82 after a long battle with diabetes and heart disease. The service was limited to immediate family only. There was a brief viewing for immediate family before the service. The casket arrived in a gold colored hearse and was followed by two gold stretch limousines carrying immediate family. There were five or six other cars in the family processional.
Two people with major impact on Whitney’s life, Aretha Franklin and Bobby Brown were unable to attend the service yesterday. Aretha declined to attend citing health issues (She is 69). Bobby Brown and his girlfriend and children were briefly in attendance after being admitted and seated by security. However, after seating them in the first row, it appears that some of Whitney’s family took exception and asked the party to move to other seating. Apparently, they were asked to move again after relocating and eventually left feeling unwelcome. Attempts by Bobby Brown to approach Bobbi Kristina were blocked by security. Both Aretha and Bobby Brown performed concerts last evening. Bobby performed a New Edition concert as part of a pre-scheduled tour. Aretha also performed at Radio City Music Hall. Both singers dedicated a portion of their performance to Whitney.