Franklin cel­e­brates 70th, plans new al­bum with Davis

The Washington Times Daily - - Life -

Aretha Franklin has a lot more than her 70th birth­day to cel­e­brate: She’s re­unit­ing with one of her mu­si­cal men­tors, Clive Davis, for a new al­bum.

In an As­so­ci­ated Press in­ter­view at her swanky birth­day party on Satur­day, Ms. Franklin said she and Mr. Davis, who helped en­gi­neer her come­back in the 1980s, would be work­ing on new mu­sic.

“I have re-signed with Clive Davis, so I’m record­ing with Clive again,” Ms. Franklin said of the mu­sic mogul, who is as­so­ci­ated with Sony Mu­sic En­ter­tain­ment.

Ms. Franklin said that af­ter Mr. Davis’ birth­day next month, “we’re go­ing to sit to­gether and de­cide what it is we’re go­ing to record.”

Mr. Davis sat next to Ms. Franklin for most of the night at the soiree at the Helm­s­ley Park Lane Ho­tel in New Yok City, which in­cluded a sit-down din­ner, a dance per­for­mance and a mini­con­cert that fea­tured ris­ing jazz pi­anist Kris Bow­ers.

Other guests in­cluded Diane Sawyer, the Rev. Al Sharp­ton and Wil­lie Wilk­er­son, Ms. Franklin’s long­time com­pan­ion and briefly this year her fi­ance.

Mr. Wilk­er­son stood by Ms. Franklin’s side as she cut her three­tier, lime-green birth­day cake while the crowd ser­e­naded her with Ste­vie Won­der’s ver­sion of “Happy Birth­day.”

When asked whether mar­riage might once again be in her fu­ture, the Queen of Soul sim­ply said: “We’ll see what hap­pens.”

As far as fu­ture work-re­lated plans, she was look­ing for­ward to per­for­mances in Cal­i­for­nia and said she was help­ing ne­go­ti­ate a record con­tract for her grand­son. Her planned biopic is on hold. “It’s in a limbo po­si­tion,” she said. “It’s just a lot go­ing on.”

Ms. Franklin said she planned to spend her ac­tual birth­day — which was Sun­day — re­lax­ing with a pa­per, her feet up and watch­ing TV.

But Satur­day night, she hung out with friends long af­ter the party’s des­ig­nated end time.

At one point, she joked that she was turn­ing back the hands of time.

“I was won­der­ing, ‘What is it go­ing to be like to be 50?’ I can tell you now it feels like 40,” she said as the crowd laughed. Frances Can­ning at Manch­ester Town Hall in north­ern Eng­land on Fri­day.

The new­ly­weds said Satur­day that the queen chat­ted and posed for wed­ding pho­to­graphs. The queen and her hus­band, Prince Philip, the Duke of Ed­in­burgh, were vis­it­ing the venue for lunch at the same time the wed­ding took place.

“It was very spe­cial — it was so lovely that she took the trou­ble to speak to us,” the bride told the Sun news­pa­per.

The 48-year-old groom knew be­fore­hand that the queen would be vis­it­ing the town hall, and jok­ingly wrote to Buck­ing­ham Palace to in­vite the monarch, the tabloid re­ported. He re­ceived a po­lite re­ply de­clin­ing the in­vi­ta­tion, but palace of­fi­cials se­cretly ar­ranged the meet­ing, the pa­per said.

Mr. Can­ning said he spoke with Prince Philip while pho­tos were be­ing taken.

“He was a charm­ing fella — for me it was the ic­ing on the cake,” he told the Sun.

The 44-year-old bride was im­pressed the queen ad­dressed them by their first names.

“She said I looked lovely and she wanted to wish us all the best for the fu­ture.

“We’re go­ing to have to get a big­ger wed­ding al­bum now,” she was quoted as say­ing. “Not many peo­ple will have pic­tures like that.”

The Bri­tish monarch was in Manch­ester to visit a num­ber of sites, in­clud­ing a new BBC head­quar­ters build­ing in nearby Sal­ford, as part of her Di­a­mond Ju­bilee tour. The queen is cel­e­brat­ing the six decades since she as­cended to the throne in 1952.

The sale of 33 posters from the Golden Age of Hol­ly­wood ended Fri­day at Her­itage Auc­tions in Texas.

The auc­tion house said a rare 1931 poster for the movie “Drac­ula” topped the list with a sell­ing price of $143,400. It sold to an anony­mous over­seas buyer.

A sur­prise of the auc­tion was the $101,575 paid for the rare poster of the 1931 movie “Ci­mar­ron,” the first Western to win the Best Picture Academy Award.

Rare clas­sic movie the­ater posters — in­clud­ing “The Public En­emy” — were found in a north­east­ern Penn­syl­va­nia at­tic.

Bri­tain’s Queen El­iz­a­beth II crashed a wed­ding dur­ing her visit to Manch­ester, Eng­land, on Fri­day.

AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS PHO­TO­GRAPHS

Aretha Franklin

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