06:33 PM EDT 04/13/2013
Originally posted 01/21/2013 01:05PM
Katy Perry was feeling festive – and possibly a little nostalgic – at the Inauguration of President Barack Obama on Monday.
The "Teenage Dream" singer, 28, who was joined by beau John Mayer, 35, in Washington, D.C., for the festivities, sported a fun little hat with a miniature version of the bow Aretha Franklin wore to the same event in 2009.
"I had it made," Perry told PEOPLE. "I thought it would be fun to do a shout-out back to four years ago."
Originally posted 01/09/2013 05:00AM
Michelle Obama works out to her music – plus, she's no stranger to the White House – so it's only fitting this year that Beyoncé will be front and center at President Barack Obama's inauguration.
The R&B superstar will be performing the National Anthem at the Jan. 21 ceremony, which will take place at the West Front of the U.S. Capitol, the Presidential Inaugural Committee tells PEOPLE. And she will be joined by an equally auspicious roster of singers: Kelly Clarkson will perform "My Country 'Tis of Thee" this year (that honor went to Aretha Franklin ... and her infamous hat in 2009), while James Taylor will sing "America the Beautiful."
Originally posted 05/17/2012 06:45PM
Following the sad news on Thursday that disco legend Donna Summer lost her battle with cancer, celebrity fans have expressed their appreciation for the singer.
"So shocking to hear about the passing of Donna Summer," Aretha Franklin said in a statement. "In the '70s, she reigned over the disco era and kept the disco jumping. Who will forget, 'Last Dance?' [She was] a fine performer and a very nice person."
Barbra Streisand said she was "shocked" to hear about the death of Summer, 63, who never let on to the public that she was so sick.
Originally posted 02/23/2012 08:40AM
The Queen has spoken.
Aretha Franklin angrily denies reports that she was barred from attending Whitney Houston's funeral because of comments she made about parenting last Friday on NBC's Today show.
The Queen of Soul, 69, did not attend Saturday's funeral, citing leg spasms. But some reports said Houston's mother Cissy told her not to attend, after Franklin said on Today that "parents have to really talk to their children before they leave home."
In a statement Wednesday, Franklin said she was speaking generally, not about the Houstons, and that NBC cut a line where she said, "This is no reflection on Cissy or Nippy's upbringing." She then slammed media reports of a rift between her and Cissy.
Originally posted 02/18/2012 11:50AM
Aretha Franklin announced Saturday that she would be unable to perform at Whitney Houston's funeral due to leg spasms.
"Regretfully, I am so sorry that I was unable to be with you at Whitney's service today," the Queen of Soul said in a statement.
"I had every intention of being there. 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." (The singer acknowledged her uncomfortable footwear during her Friday concert.)
Originally posted 02/18/2012 09:40AM
At Aretha Franklin's New York City concert Friday night, she acknowledged Whitney Houston's passing, calling her "one of the greatest singers that ever stood behind a microphone. She's moved on up just a little bit higher now."
But first, the Queen of Soul shared an exclusive tribute to Houston with PEOPLE, in which she remembers "Nippy" as a child, a troubled celebrity and a superstar.
"It's so stunning and unbelievable," Franklin shared with her Facebook and Twitter followers.
Here, and in this week's issue of PEOPLE, Franklin shares – in her own words – the Whitney she knew.
Originally posted 02/17/2012 11:15AM
Whitney Houston's death on Saturday at age 48 came as a shock to fans around the world, and was particularly devastating to her godmother, Aretha Franklin – who said she heard about the loss through a TV news report.
The Queen of Soul, 69, was enjoying a quiet night watching The Descendants in a hotel room in Charlotte, N.C., when she heard the news.
"Maybe two minutes after I [turned off the movie], it came across the screen," Franklin, 69, told Al Roker on Friday's Today show. "I jumped up off the side of the bed ... I just said, 'Oh my God. That's not good.' "
Originally posted 02/16/2012 04:20PM
Throughout the highs and lows of Whitney Houston's tumultuous life, one person was a constant fan: her godmother, soul great Aretha Franklin.
"We were all aware of her challenges," Franklin, 69, says exclusively in the new issue of PEOPLE. "And I was always rooting for her."
Franklin recalls being thrilled with her goddaughter's triumphant return to the silver screen. "Seeing previews for the new Sparkle movie I thought, boy she looks good, healthy, fresh and has that twinkle in her eyes!"
Originally posted 02/16/2012 01:40PM
Not only is Bobby Brown not banned from attending Whitney Houston's invitation-only funeral on Saturday, he is performing with New Edition a few hours later, it was just announced.
"He is not being banned. That's completely untrue," a family source tells PEOPLE.
Adds a close family friend: "Bobby will be there at the funeral to support his [and Houston's] daughter [Bobbi Kristina Brown, 18]. There was some talk ... some people were angry at him, but that's just grief. He will be there."
Originally posted 02/16/2012 11:50AM
Kevin Costner, the leading man who costarred with Whitney Houston in her greatest movie hit, The Bodyguard, is planning to speak at her funeral this weekend, a family source tells PEOPLE.
In addition, both Aretha Franklin and Stevie Wonder will sing at the service, and Houston's record producer from the very beginning of her career, Clive Davis, will also speak, Whitney's rep confirms.
According to the family source, "Whitney's family is devastated, but they're getting through it."
In addition, says the family source, "Clive has been a complete rock for her family this entire time. He's been with her since the beginning, and he's been everything to them. They're leaning on him for emotional support. He talks to them hourly, and he's a very big part in planning her funeral. Clive has been a constant presence for them. They're thanking God for Clive."
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