Aretha Franklin: Enough talk on why she missed Whitney's funeral!
Aretha Franklin missed Whitney Houston's funeral Saturday, but there's simply no drama behind it all, the Queen of Soul insisted Wednesday, suggesting various media outlets should "stop the BS."
Franklin, who was invited to the funeral and reportedly on tap to sing "The Greatest Love of All," bowed out at the last minute for health reasons, leaving Dionne Warwick a bit surprised to learn that "Re" wasn't on hand when she was to step up to the front of the church.
Franklin explained in a statement Saturday obtained by "Extra" that she'd had every intention of attending, but "unfortunately I had terrible leg spasms and locked leg muscles until 4:00 a.m. this morning following my concert last night, which I've been having for the last few days. I feel it necessary and very important to stay off my leg today as much as possible until concert time this evening.
"My heart goes out to my dear friend Cissy [Houston], Dionne, Bobbi Kristina [Brown] and the rest of the family. May God keep them all."
But Wednesday's statement was another thing entirely.
"People are getting their information from the wrong source," Franklin said, according to the Detroit News. "The intelligent and the thoughtful thing to do would be to respect and have some sensitivity to the moment. If you don't know how, at least try. Cissy does not need ridiculous speculation and neither do I — particularly at this time."
The "ridiculous speculation" referred to talk of a rift between Cissy and Aretha, complete with an un-invitation, over comments the latter made in a "Today" interview that aired Friday.
"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."
The interview, in which Franklin described her reaction to hearing of Houston's death, is no longer available on a "Today" show Web page where it had been posted.
"She was having her problems; she was having her challenges," Franklin told "Today," "but a lot of people have challenges of all kinds. ... You cannot define a person on just one thing. You can't just forget all these wonderful and good things that a person has done because one thing didn't come off the way you thought it should come off."
Whitney Houston died Feb. 11 in Beverly Hills. She was found unresponsive in a bathtub at the Beverly Hilton, submerged in the water. The cause of death has not officially been determined, pending results of toxicology and other tests.
Photo: Aretha Franklin performs at Radio City Music Hall in New York City on Saturday, the night of Whitney Houston's "home going" service. Credit: Neilson Barnard / Getty Images