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10 Questions With Aretha Franklin

What is your earliest memory?
[ laughter ] Oh, come on! Does anyone remember that, Kate? Come on, give me an answer!

Miles Davis said his first memory was looking at the flame on the stove.
Sure, right! I can just imagine. That’s funny.

How does it feel to be a giant?
I don’t know. I don’t consider myself to be a giant. I’m a woman first. A mother first, and then an artist.

Probably a good way of staying sane.
Artists are people first — same bills, same problems with children on occasion. Most artists are God-fearing people just like the next person.

In “Respect,” you weren’t talking about sexuality.
Definitely not — just female-to-male relationships. The old dating game. Although I know it served a far greater purpose for the civil rights movement.

It wasn’t even a “feminist” thing.
No, I didn’t know who Gloria Steinem was.

Womanist?
Hmmm?

There’s a term, “womanist,” Alice Walker invented.
Well, that’s Alice Walker. I go with “feminist.”

Are you a feminist?
I think women should have been liberated long ago, and of course some women have always been liberated. Women are really gettin’ down today. They always got down as homemakers and in the kitchen, and that’s a very important job! But we needed a woman’s touch a long time ago in the boardroom.

Did you relate to the hippies?
I was more related to the civil rights movement, although I could certainly appreciate their ideas of peace. I’m a peace-loving woman myself.

The Queen of Soul performs September 9 and 10 at Gibson Amphitheater at Universal CityWalk.


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