Aretha Franklin has issued a response to Fantasia after Fantasia announced that she had boycotted the Feb. 13 Grammy Awards, despite being up for two statues, because she was not invited to sing in Franklin’s tribute that opened the show.
“I was sorry to hear that Fantasia was upset because she did not get the opportunity to participate in my Grammy Tribute this year,” Franklin said in a statement to USA Today. “I recall that in the past, Fantasia participated in both my MusicCares Person of the Year Tribute and my United Negro College Fund Tribute. Fantasia is still young in the business and although we all love and appreciate her she must understand that in this business of show business she will not always get to participate in everything she would like participate in. I'm sure it was not an intentional omission. I will see Fantasia over the summer here in Detroit."
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In other words: get over it. Fantasia opened the can of worms last week when she told BET’s “106 & Park” that the boycotted the show because of her omission from the salute to her musical hero. Fantasia, who has been nominated 11 times, won her first Grammy that night for best female R&B vocal performance for “Bittersweet.” The award was no presented on air. “There is no way I could have sat there and not got the happy feet and wanting to jump on the mic because she is my favorite,” Fantasia told BET. “So I felt like, you know, at the end of the day I should have been on that stage.”
I’ve interviewed Fantasia and she’s one of those artists who says whatever is on her mind without much of a filter. It makes for great copy, but can be tough when it comes to playing clean-up. Fantasia would have been a fine artist to participate in the tribute and, truth be told, we would have rather seen her than some of the other artists up there, but for her to express some sense of entitlement that she deserved to be up there is inappropriate. She could have worded it just slightly differently and she would have come off looking like a grateful Aretha acolyte instead of a disapproving diva.
We’ve asked Fantasia’s rep if Fantasia has any response to Franklin’s words and will let you know what we hear back.