Stop The Presses!

Feb. 14-20: Aretha Franklin Gives Up Pigs’ Feet For Diet, Also Planning Show And Album

Stop The Presses!
Aretha Franklin fans havebeen nervous about the legendary singer's health since her medical scare in December.Her doctor ordered her to cancel all of her concert dates from November to May. That's why it was a treat for fans to see her satellite message on the Grammy AwardsSunday, following a spectacular musical tribute helmed by Christina Aguilera, JenniferHudson, Martina McBride, Yolanda Adams, and Florence Welch.
 
Franklin, who washospitalized after having surgery for an undisclosed ailment, was noticeablysmaller. In an interview with the AssociatedPress, the 68-year-old Queen Of Soul discussed changing her diet, returningto the stage, and releasing her next album.

She revealed that she is enjoying her new figure. "I wantto not only maintain the weight I am at now but better it, by one dress size,"she said. Her goal is to wear a size 16.

Franklin no longer eats fatty pork dishes such as chitterlings, pigs'feet, and ham hocks. "They're off my diet," she said. "They just really don'tfit with Whole Foods. I had it for enough years that I don't miss it. You can'tcontinue to eat things that are not good for you."

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However, she is not content on settling with a bland mealplan. "When you come off (a high-energy concert), a carrot or some celery justisn't going to work," she said. "I've gotta do a fresh fruit thing ... and comeup with some tasty and satisfying recipes that are going to work for me."

Franklin is scheduled to perform at the Seneca Niagara Casinoin Buffalo, New York on May 28. Her album, "Aretha: AWoman Falling Out Of Love," is due out earlier that month. Franklin told AP that album will havea throwback sound.

"It's definitely going totake the boomers back," she said. "But it's also contemporary with respect toother writers and production." R. Kelly, who Franklin has praised for his doo-wop record "WhenA Woman Loves" is among the album's songwriters.

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Franklin also shared a headline this week with American IdolFantasia Barrino, who was so upset that she was not included in the Grammys tribute that sheboycotted the event despite her own nominations and firstwin. Barrino told BET's "106 & Park" that she"should have been on that stage, so I kind of did my own little thing lastnight."

Although the other womendid a great job, I agree that Barrino would have been perfect for theperformance, but skipping the show wasn't a good diplomatic decision.There's still a Franklin biopic to be made, andfellow former Idol pal Jennifer Hudson, who sang Franklin's "Respect" during the tribute, saysshewould love to portray the icon on the big screen.

Franklin's reduced weight wasn't the only shocking news thisweek. Miley Cyrus' dad, Billy Ray, also sparked a buzz when he blamed their "HannahMontana" series for destroying their family. Grammy favorite Bruno Marsreceived a stroke of luck this week when he avoided jailtime after pleading guilty to a first-time drug offense. And Britney Spears closedout the week when she unleashed her long-anticipated return video for "Hold ItAgainst Me."

Grammy week always yieldsexciting news. Let's see what happens next week. See you then.

THIS WEEK'S TOP 5 MUSIC NEWS STORIES

1) NaturalWoman - Aretha Franklin losesweight, preps new album

2) NeedSatisfied -- Lady Antebellum winsbig at Grammys

3) FamilyMatters -- Billy Ray Cyrusregrets "Hannah Montana"

4) MoveOver Lady Gaga -- Britney Spears releasesnew video

5) BigBreak -- Bruno Mars gets probation

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