These days, a simple hit of the "unfollow" button on Instagram or the "like" button of a shady tweet can cause rumors of a pop star feud, whether it really exists or not. Aretha Franklin, for one, has no time for that digital, amateur diva nonsense. No, ma'am. Aretha Franklin is going to take full ownership of any supposed feuds in public, and she doesn't even need a WiFi connection to do it. She will just straight up fax the media if need be.
The queen of soul (and queen of shade) did just that this week when she blasted out a highly detailed letter via fax machine to several media outlets, including the Associated Press, to clarify rumors about a years-old feud with Dione Warwick.
Franklin's clarification: Yes, the feud very much exists.
Indeed, Franklin claims Warwick "blatantly lied on me . . . fully well knowing what she was doing." There is bad blood between the woman with the most entries on the Billboard 100 of all time, Franklin, and with the woman with the second most female solo entries on the chart of all time, Warwick, and Franklin calls it downright libelous.
The cause of the feud dates back to the 2012 funeral of Whitney Houston, which Franklin did not attend. Warwick, Houston's cousin, specifically pointed out Franklin's absence during a speech at the gathering.
“Ree’s not here, but she is here,” Warwick said, referring to Franklin by a nickname. “She loves Whitney as if she were born to her. She is her godmother.”
Franklin says she was not able to make it because he had swollen feet, but did perform at Radio City Music Hall that night. She claims that she was contractually obligated to do so. She also took issue with Warwick describing her as Franklin's godmother, which she is not.
Franklin decided to address the five-year-old perceived diss because she ran into Warwick over the weekend at the Tribeca Film Festival premiere of record label honcho Clive Davis's biographical documentary, and Warwick attempted to greet her and hug her like there was no drama between the two.
Franklin also called up the AP to make sure they received the fax, and commented further.
“She said, ‘Give me a hug.’ I said, ‘Oh hell no. You couldn’t be serious,’” she said, adding "We’ve never been friends and I don’t think that Dionne has ever liked me.”
This might seem ridiculous to some, but is it actually any more ridiculous than making a big budget music video complete with several a-list celebrity cameos for a song supposedly about a rivalry with another female singer? Franklin clearly chooses less showy and more economical ways to air her "Bad Blood."
She is not one to string drama thirsty fans along with slight hints of digital shade, or vague comments in the press. Franklin will air her drama in the media and the court of public opinion.
When reached by the AP, representatives for Warwick said she "will not dignify a response to the statement made by Aretha Franklin.”
No word on whether or not Ryan Murphy has begun casting for Feud season 4.
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