You may have drama in life; you may be getting into it with your little friends on Twitter, you may have had a very terse conversation with a barista about why the almond milk wasn't on the counter; you may be blithely walking through the world side-eying children and puppies and especially flowery trees. Your friends may call you TNT because "you know drama," but you have never known drama the way Aretha Franklin knows drama.
The Soul Supreme and shade savior has apparently been saving shade to savor on a rainy day. And this week it rained. Actually, it wasn't even shade. It was a full-on diva drama deluge.
I'm going to try to explain to you what happened. You're not going to understand. That's okay.
So, five years ago at Whitney Houston's funeral, Dionne Warwick, the legend responsible for dozens of Burt Bacharach hits including "Say a Little Prayer," mistakenly (?) stated that Aretha Franklin was (1) in attendance and (2) Whitney's godmother.
Got it? Okay.
Time passes.The earth turns, the flowers bloom, roughly 15 Fast & Furious movies come out, and roughly zero Avatar movies come out. Babies are born; many celebrities reveal brand-new faces; life goes on.
Then one day, the Associated Press receives what writer Nekesa Mumbi Moody characterizes as a "lengthy fax" from the Queen of Soul, complaining about what Dionne Warwick said. Five years ago. At Whitney Houston's funeral. Which was in 2012.
I have to stop and express my deepest praise for the phrase "a lengthy fax." Like, if you're going to start drama between septuagenarian soul legends, it better originate in five to 12 single-spaced pages spitting out of a machine everyone in the office forgot was there.
How did Aretha Franklin get the AP's fax number?
How does anyone get anyone's fax number?!
This is incredible.
And where do you send a fax from? Please tell me Aretha moseyed down to the local Staples with her strongly worded missive, tossed her fur coat on the floor and told the cashier, "I'm here to send Dionne Warwick a message. You know what to do."
Why this? Why now? Why even? Did Aretha just wake up in a cold sweat this week like "Hold the heck up!" I mean, I'm still angry about things that happened in kindergarten. Maybe I should send some faxes!
Fax me outside, how bow dah?
I'm also 100% shewk by the subtle shade of the phrase Moody uses. She writes, "Franklin called The Associated Press on Tuesday, after sending a lengthy fax the day before." Here's what I know about that: one, The Associated Press was not feeling Aretha's fax and two, The Associated Press did not respond to Aretha's fax. The shade of it all!
Aretha sends a fax to try to start drama with Dionne Warwick; the AP is like, "Honey, what is this? My DMs are open. Try again." This whole situation is a reading rhombus.
Once Aretha gets someone on the phone she lays into Warwick for, as she put it, lying about the Queen of Soul.
As you may recall, the statement in question is that Aretha was present and also Whitney's godmother.
Aretha was literally and figuratively not here for it.
She also states that she was asked to be Whitney's godmother but declined because "she was far too busy to be anyone's godmother."
Is that an option?
"Hey, do you want to be my child's godparent?"
"Haha, that's hilarious. I'm actually a legend, though, and I am booked solid. Maybe next kid."
Anyway, Dionne said it, Aretha was pissed about it and then nothing happened for five whole years.
Now Aretha says she brings it up not to get an apology but to get her coins. "I don't care about her apology," she's quoted as saying. "At this point it isn't about an apology, it's about libel." Y'all, the Queen of Soul just SEE YOU IN COURTed Dionne Warwick! I cannot!
I don't think that's what friends are for.
Honestly, I don't know what to make of any this. Who says all our heroes are gone? Aretha is an icon, as in "Iconnot believe this is happening and iconnot understand why." ICONIC.
Sending a fax to the press about a relatively minor lie that someone said five years ago is the kind of petty to which we should all aspire. So, if you're angry about something that happened today, don't worry. Keep smiling, keep shining, knowing you can always wait half a decade and then one day fire up your Windows 95 and start some drama in your life!
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