Today Show Host Kathie Lee Says Aretha Franklin is Too Old to Judge American Idol

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, BlackBlueDog.com

Earlier this week, Aretha Franklin made it known that she would very much like to be a judge on American Idol.  The world did what they normally do when Aretha speaks, they listened.  Aretha is the standard against which most of the artists on American Idol are compared, so why shouldn’t she be a judge for the show?

Today Show Host Kathie Lee Gifford weighed in on the issue, stating that the younger audience for American Idol would be unable to appreciate what Aretha’s legendary status brings to the table.

“If they are looking for a younger demographic, there are a lot of kids out there (who) actually don’t know who Aretha Franklin is. It’s sad, but they don’t,” Gifford said.

Not willing to sit to the side on this issue, Aretha sent another email to CNN defending herself.

“While I enjoy Kathie Lee and Hoda daily, her assessment is totally wrong! I’ve been to California from Detroit four times this year and Florida. I go wherever I choose to go comfortably on my custom bus.

Further, my audience and fans span the age of 8 to 90! And are multi-ethnic, and I am very well known to young adults, tweens and teens. Their parents play my music and I take care of my business whenever I sign on the dotted line! I’m surprised Kathie Lee did not research my worldwide celebrity audience! She’s usually right on top of things with a great sense of humor, but she’s totally wrong this time. She should research me before she speaks about me. I’m sure she thought she was right; still enjoy Hoda and Kathie Lee! I could enjoy being a judge for a season or two. Let’s kick it up a few notches and have a slammin’, jammin’ season.”

I am glad that Franklin stood up for herself on this issue.  While, I am not sure if riding a bus to all of the auditions is possible, it’s important that Aretha speak out against Gifford’s unfortunate and inaccurate remarks.

What Aretha is experiencing is similar to the ostracism being endured by millions of other senior citizens who are consistently told that their time has come and gone.  Their value is diminished before their very eyes, as corporations decide to go with the shiny new 25 or 30 year old whom they deem to be more relevant.  For some reason, our society has decided that after the age of 60, you can’t do anything and you can’t think straight, leaving quite a few Americans feeling unwanted and unappreciated.

The fact is that Franklin might be 70-years old, but she is of able mind and body.  There is no reason that she would not be an outstanding judge for the show.   If the younger viewers of the show are not familiar with Franklin’s legacy, then the solution is simple:   Educate them.  By showing clips of Franklin at her peak and reminding the audience of her achievements, young people can gain an appreciation for the fact that she is like no other.

When I first started watching American Idol, I had no idea why Randy Jackson was a judge and I didn’t know or care who Simon Cowell was (I still don’t).  So, Gifford’s insinuation that somehow Aretha Franklin’s connection with young people doesn’t match up to that of Cowell or Jackson is about as silly as saying that Bill Russell is less relevant to young hoop stars than Dr. Boyce Watkins.  In both cases, there really is no comparison.

Go ahead Aretha, keep speaking your mind.  You’re not only speaking up for yourself, but you are representing every other 70-year old in America who might be tempted to feel that their purpose has been neglected.  You set the bar for American Idol long before the show even existed, so you have every right to sit in that chair as a judge.  Don’t let anybody tell you any different, but based on what I know about you, I’m pretty sure you won’t.

Dr. Boyce Watkins is a Finance Professor at Syracuse University and author of the book, “Financial Lovemaking 101: Merging Assets with Your Partner in Ways that Feel Good.” To have Dr. Boyce commentary delivered to your email, please click here.

127 Responses to Today Show Host Kathie Lee Says Aretha Franklin is Too Old to Judge American Idol

  1. Kathie Lee Gifford is right. There is nothing offensive about what she said. With the exception of a few most younger audiences not only don’t know Aretha Franklin’s music but wouldn’t know talent if it bit them in the a*s. I realize that this is something Aretha Franklin wants to do but IMO Ms Franklin is too talented to be on this show. No matter how popular it is American Idol is nothing more than a amateur contest with mediocre judges. The same way Diana Ross chose to take a pass on Tyler Perry so should Aretha Franklin on American Idol.

    • Idolatry is a sin.

    • Agreed. I just said the same thing yesterday. As much as I love the Queen, the age limit on AI makes the contestants her (great) grand-children’s age.

      • Oh please,I’m sure the contestants would die to have her as a judge. Steven Tyler who is no spring chicken himself was able to pull it off for a while. So why are y’all insulting the Queen of soul?? Hypocritical much?

        • KeeperofWisdom

          You ain’t said nuthin’ but the truth! I think it would be make me look at the show to know that the Queen of Soul was on it. I lost interest not too long after it came on tv and never did like Simon Cowell!
          And who the heck is Kathie Lee Gifford to have a say anyway?

          • Ditto! If the Queen becomes a judge, I would watch too!! BTW- who is Kathy Lee???

          • I agree, Aretha should be on American Idol. The contestant are required to sing from all genre, so they should be familiar with soul music also.
            The younger generation probably don’t know who Kathy Lee Gifford is, should she not host her show because they don’t know her?
            What did she do before she was a host? There is nothing wrong with Aretha’s ears, she would know good talent when she hears it.

        • kimberly valentino

          Man bring on the queen!!!!!I don’t care how old Aretha is she has been in this game for a very long time!She still is classy and I think they would love to have her.By the way I think Kathy Gifford should look in the mirror!She looks 20 years older than her real d**n age!

        • All Kathie Lee did was give her “Opinion” and like pie holes we all have one. You sound as though AF is a god and must be worshiped and praised?? You had better get a grip before it’s too late.

          • She is the best singer that ever lived. People will start watching again. Who knows talent better than someone that is talented. Stop faking to be young Kathie, no talent Lee. They always let their true colors come through.

      • So the contestants are her grand- or great- grand kids ages…what does that have to do with anything? Does that adveresly affect Aretha’s ability to judge talent?

    • I do NOT agree with Kathy Lee Gifford. I don’t find what she said offensive. I just find it very wrong. I think Aretha would be a great addition to American Idol. Good luck, Aretha!

    • Pernetta Dowling

      I bet if they had said Barbra Streisand, she would have sang a different tune! Stick to being a “host” Kathie!

    • Mahari Mengistu

      It disappoints me that she wants to be on the show. However, I think that having Aretha Franklin as your judge would scare the sh-t out of a contestant. But I think the show is beneath her but her wish to be a judge seems to hearken to our/black folks seemingly overwhelming desire to get white folks’ approval. She probably misses the spotlight and white folks screaming her name. Many black artists don’t seem to think that they have made it until whites start to accept/listen to them. Don’t they get it?: whites listen to what WE think is good AND to their own mediocre narcissistic representations which moves up a notch and becomes better if it is an imitation of us. Both she and Whitney are enamored of Clive, the manager, who probably just loves the cross-over effect. This means a higher percentage of dough for him.

      • Uh…Don’t know much about the Queen do you??? She doesn’t have to desire to get white folk approval. She’s beloved by EVERYBODY, one of the few cases where a TRUE soul artist managed to grip not only us but everyone else in the process. To someone like the Queen AI is a chance to mentor and guide and if she’s a fan of the show that’s probably added incentive to join on. Don’t disrespect this lady in that manner. Nothing about her has ever suggest she panders to the other side. She does Aretha and doesn’t apologize for it.

      • Kareemah Jackson

        Although I believe that Kathie Lee was incorrect and limited in her perception of Aretha’s audience base, I likewise believe that erroneous is your assessment that her presence on American Idol would be beneath her station. Yes it is an amateur contest but who better than the “Queen of Soul” that an amateur receive constructive criticism from. Seriously! If the greats of our culture and society think too much of themselves to impart their wisdom, and reach back to those who come up behind them then what message are we conveying to our youth? Aretha has done it all. She has nothing else to achieve except to pass down and empower the generations after her while she’s still among us. That’s awesome!

    • How would u know? Just because u don’t know her music does not put u in a position to spaek on behalf of others. If Aretha says her fans span from 8-80 and sre multi-ethnic than they are, one could say the same about Steven Tyler’s old a*s and there are plenty of folk out there who do not listen to Aerosmith. If she wishes to do the show , I can think of noone more suited to judge America Idol.. And maybe all the no-talents featured on that show woud have to step up there game.

    • I’m with Kathy Lee, Aretha is too old for Idol, at a certain age we need to recognize what’s up and pass the baton.

    • Kareemah Jackson

      Although I believe that Kathie Lee was incorrect and limited in her perception of Aretha’s audience base, I likewise believe that erroneous is your assessment that her presence on American Idol would be beneath her station. Yes it is an amateur contest but who better than the “Queen of Soul” that an amateur receive constructive criticism from. Seriously! If the greats of our culture and society think too much of themselves to impart their wisdom, and reach back to those who come up behind them then what message are we conveying to our youth? Aretha has done it all. She has nothing else to achieve except to pass down and empower the generations after her while she’s still among us. That’s awesome!

  2. kathie lee is so right. ride a bus to the auditions LMAO that is crazy. There is a time to retire. There is a time to move over for the next generation. If you squandered your massive wealth and still need to work, to d**n bad.

    • Let’s hope when you get old you will have the same mindset! You too, will get old.

      • YOU’RE ABSOLUTELY RIGHT, WHAT GOES AROUND COMES AROUND. EVERYBODY THAT WROTE A POST WILL GROW OLD IF THEY ARE LUCKY. SOME OF YOU WON’T MAKE IT THROUGH, YOUR OLD PARENTS WILL BURY YOU. ARETHA SHOULD BE A JUDGE ON AI. THOSE KIDS WILL SHAKE IN THEIR SHOES BEFORE THE QUEEN.

    • You do hope to reach at least Ms. Franklin’s age, right? Not everyone does.

      Just exactly when is that “time to retire”?

    • Aretha is NOT broke; she got plenty of “bank”
      “Move over for the next generation…”? She’s not trying to BE on American Idol as a contestant, she just wants to be a judge. So what’s so wrong with her traveling via her bus? Trust me, she ain’t traveling via a yellow school bus, she has got a serious tour bus with all the comforts of home. She has been famous a long time; she is not half-stepping. You haven’t seen those photos of her parties she throws?
      If you don’t know…you need to ask somebody…

    • Pernetta Dowling

      Tell Cher to retire in that case!
      Tell Reba McInthyre to retire
      Tell Dolly Parton to retire
      Tell Pat Benetar to retire
      Tell Susan Boyle to retire
      Tell the Rolling Stones to retire
      Kiss
      Beach Boys
      Paul McCartney
      MUST I GO ON!

  3. Aretha’s “BUS” is no ordinary bus. It is, probably, a million dollar “PREVOST” which is more lavish than most homes in the world.

  4. Young one are going back to REAL music. Corporate says play this, play that. But many young people are buying “THE BEST OF” Old School.

    • KeeperofWisdom

      AMEN!!! I can’t tell you how many young people/adults who when I’m in some store jamming to some ‘ole school tune…they know all of the words. I ask them how they know and they say…my mother, father, uncle, aunt, grandma or grandpa play the music and they have been listening and love it.

    • I agree wholeheartly!!!!!!”ole school”music is gaining in popularity!!!!IT’s REAL MUSIC and you actually have to be able to SING!!!!!!

  5. The Kathie Lee stadard should be applied to her husband. If Aretha is too old to be on television, then certainly her husband is over the hill for television. I do not think you can have a standard for women without applying to the male pundits, judges, and celebrities in general.

  6. ALRIGHT NOW… THE QUEEN has spoken and I so agree. Aretha would be perfect for American Idol. Either they bring on Aretha and boost the ratings or take that lame a*s show off the air. The judges never actually mirrored what I would claim as RESPECTABLE MUSICAL TALENT with a phenomenal career and experience to back them up. Randy and Simon and Steven Tyler were okay but the women lacked it. Kathie Lee is a mess, did anyone tell her that Frank Gifford was too old to be marrying her? What is great about Aretha Franklin is that she is still HIP, without trying to be anything other than herself. She has her own lane that multitude of artists have been imitating in many ways, as well as been influenced by her. I would love to hear what her insight would be and it would make that show much more interesting, if not improve the ratings. Hollywood needs to get over that age discrimination that tends to believe that anyone over 60 is irrelevant– especially when it comes to music. Who would be in a better position to advise or judge talent on becoming an American Idol other than an American Idol and Icon like Aretha Franklin? Finally the show is able to align its judges with the title of the show.

  7. I think that she would be a great judge and would offer such great advice that could change their lives. people are living longer. She is greatest.

  8. How dare she insult the queen of soul, that is b.s how would she like it if someone can call her old, The queen is legendary, is Kathie Lee is h**l no, she had some little babies working at a sweat shop was they old h**l no

  9. I agree with Aretha Franklin!

  10. Kathie Lee is too old for the Today show; she does not even know it; look in the mirror. Also, she cannot identify that Aretha would make a great Judge; it is over her head; that is why she made such a ignorant statement, she does not know better than what she said.
    Age is nothing but a number; it is the mindset. There are many young musicians who have sampled or collaborated with Aretha; now run and tell that Kathie.

  11. Kathy Lee sit your old a*s down somewhere!lmao!

  12. She didn’t say Aretha Franklin was to Old. Please get the fact correct.

  13. Aretha has the years in the business and can teach the young contestants about the business and having longevity as well.

  14. Sorry, but Aretha Franklin has class and soul.

    You should never exclude someone based on their age, did she lose her ability to know music?

    She is an entertainer forever!

    Her music quality is classic and shall be forever.

    Jump jump to it!

  15. Kathie Lee just needs to shut up. These kids need to hear the GREATS! I can hardly listen to the show because they all sound the same – just noise!!!!! Aretha would be the best thing that ever happened to that show!

  16. R-E-S-P-E-C-T

    TCB

  17. Kathie Lee is jealous and envouis of the Queen of Soul .Ms Franklin at her age has sold More songs in one year than Kathie Lee in her life time. The comment about her riding her luxury coach to tryout is STUPID and has no rational basis. Steve Madden covered football for years (with Kathie Lees’ husband as a fellow analyst) while riding to and from games on his bus. Kathie Lee should be the last person talking about age and demographics seeing that she is basically 60 years old. On the today show they cover subjects fron birth to death so maybe she should leave the show to Hoda and Sara since they are not over the hill like her(since that is what she is suggesting about the Queen of Soul). Ms. Franklin has performed for Presidents, Kings and common man. Who else is better qualified to judge an amateur singing contest !!!

  18. Who gives a s**t about Kathie Lee anyway? She is only a couple of years younger that Aretha herself. This plastic surgery Pekingnese should be close to retirement her damned self.

  19. Emmett D. Bowers

    KATHIE LEE YOU JUST DISRESPECTED AN ICON IN THE MUSICAL WORLD. NOT ONLY IS SHE RECOGNIZED IN AMERICA, SHE KNOWN AROUND THE WORLD AS THE QUEEN OF SOUL.
    SO, IF SHE DESIRES TO RIDE A BUS, NOT EVERY ONE IS INTO FLYING UNLESS THEY REALLY HAVE TO. TAKE JOHN MADDEN (EX-COACH OF THE OAKLAND RAIDERS)HE NEVER FLEW, THE BUS HE RODE IN, IT WAS OUT OF SIGHT.MORE LUXUROUS THAN A FEW OF MILLION DOLLARS HOUSE. SO TAKE YOU FOOT OUT OF YOUR MOUTH AND APOLGIZE TO THE QUEEN OF SOUL MS ARETHA FRANKLIN…

  20. I am a resource teacher. I work with elementary school children ages 6 – 12. Unfortunately, some of these kids do not know legends like Aretha Franklin. Kathie Lee didn’t say anything offensive in regards to Aretha’s legacy. I can only judge by what I see and hear everyday while working with children. I remember doing an assignment with a group of 6th graders where I compared the works between modern and past artists. There was one clip I showed of Christina Aguilera singing James Brown “This Is A Man’s World,” and James Brown himself doing it. They had no idea who James Brown was and even as I educated them about James Brown and more past artists, some of them were bored with the lesson. It’s sad but true in some instances.

    • Most of the new songs are based on the old songs. Although they might know the name, they do know the song. Maybe they should be taught that.

    • I don’t think those children would know James Brown unless Soul Music is played at home. I played Soul Music in my home, so when my kid was 7 and at the beauty shop with me, she was able to identify: Otis Redding, James Brown, etc.

  21. HAIL TO THE QUEEN. AI SHOULD BE SO HONORED.

  22. Listen I totally agree with Kathy Lee, American Idol is trying to reach a much younger audience and Ms. Franklin does not help with that. American Idol should push for Rihanna or someone like that.

    • Rhianna? really? Rhianna stays too high and has a reputation of not showing up for gigs. Is she really qualified to judge talent? Her recordings are electronically/digitally enhanced. Could we tolerate listening to Rhianna or some of these young artist without the enhancement??

    • How old is Steven Tyler? I knew nothing about him until he became a judge on the show. How long has Jennifer Lopez been a singer, how many albums (CD’s) has she recorded. I think Aretha would make a great judge on the show and give great advise to the contestants.

  23. who gives a care about that has been./Aretha put the soul in music ,thats why she is the queen supreme..age ain’t got nothing to do with it…

  24. Since when has it been that kids being bored is something that grown folks have to be sure to prevent as if it’s a crime. I hated history perhaps because it was packed with lies or just perhaps because it was presented as boring. The schools did not remove history from the curriculum because of my distaste for it. Lol sometimes Cathy needs to be quiet. She talked about what she would do to her senior husband if he cheated like Coby ( the basketball guy not sure if that’s spelling his name right or not), well ole Frankie cheated and it was caught on tape. She did nothing about it- so give her comment a salt grain of attention lol

  25. Haywood Fennell, Sr.

    For you to print a comment made by Katie Lee Griffin is sad because she probably can’t and never good dance to the music of the Queen of Soul. Besides, the Queen should get with the other Queen OW and develop their own talent search program. later for Katie.

  26. I’m sorry, but exactly how old is Steven Tyler??? At least let someone be a judge who can actually sing!! Go Aretha! If she became a judge, I just might start watching American Idol again!

  27. Only TRUE talent can judge talent. That’s what Aretha would bring to the table, what do fools think she’s got ALZHEIMERS or something? She’s somehow forgotten what it takes to be a star, h**l she’s a legend! Katies Lee Gifford is a untalented hack who tries to behave like she’s half her age. I’m sorry how many Grammys has Kathy Lee received on her jingle singing,Name that Tune, generic a*s career…..NONE. Aretha would give the show one h**l of a boost. Screw anyone who thinks “her time is up”. You can put the majority of female singers together and be hard pressed to tell them apart. Dives like Aretha, Diana, Gladys, Patti, you KNOW who the are from the moment they open their mouths! And to the teacher trying to teach students about James Brown, wrong arena, you can’t get into a subject like that in a classroom in what.. 40 minutes! And too those who think young people aren’t interested in old school, my son is 15 yrs. old and wants to be a producer and can sing his azz off! I introduced him to Stevie Wonder, h**l he listens to Billy Eckstein, Frank Sinatra, Curtis Mayfield, Donny Hathaway, Sammy Davis, Jr. Duke Ellington, and the list goes on, he knows you have to honor the greats and appreciate the foundation. That great talent builds from. Aretha too old, please, how d**n dumb is that. Kathy go jump on a botox needle and keep wishing you had Aretha’s ageless skills.

  28. Funny. When kathie Lee sang the theme song for Carnival cruises the majority of people felt it sounded horrible (I think they eventually had to pull it)so she shouldn’t be dissin’ the queen.

  29. Who really cares about Kathie Lee’s opinion? She needs to keep her a*s quiet.

  30. Katie Lee is too old and her show tone songs are terriable to the ears. Needs to stop with the wine and mouth.

  31. Had Aretha attended Whitney’s funeral, I would defend her. I believe Kathie is absolutely correct here.

    • Lol………Really?????? Please! Lol

    • WHAT THE h**l DOES WHITNEY’S FUNERAL HAVE TO DO WITH THIS? NOT A GODDAMM THING!!!!!!!!!

      • maxine Williams

        I commented that the television show DUETS,has the singers, doing so many of the genres,Gospel, R&B,Classic, so forth, who could better judge,American Idol, than Aretha, who has sung it all, even a little jazz and maybe some country.
        It would do these young uprising idols to appreciate the real IDOLS.
        I would love to see Aretha do the “DUETS” show and some of the other Great singers.
        Sorry, I just reread all the comments. What does Whitney Houston, have to do with Aretha Franklin,judging American Idol. Does that matter,why Aretha did not attend Whitney’s funeral,two different situations. What age are you, who wrote that.

      • Thank you CHILLZ! That was the dumbest d**n comment I’ve seen in a LONG time WTF???

  32. Well Kathie Lee has finally completed her stupid. Of all the people in the world who better to be on AI than the original Queen of Soul herself???? She would bring an authenticity and real talent to the show. Who would be better to instruct, guide, mentor, critique, and impart than the one, the only– Ree! Crazy thang- Come on KLG Ray Charles could see this as a slam dunk and Idol should be cramming trying to get her under contract before she changes her mind.

    If demographics are a concern, anchor her with some your, less talented singer that should be in awe to sit with Miss Franklin. I would expect the most honest assessment ever with her, cause she is the real deal and can sing. And, if I can recall, Steven Tyler is no spring chicken. I hope to see Aretha on Idol or whatever she wants to be on, because she has earned her right to work on anything regarding music in my opinion. Now Kathy, as Madear would say. “Go somewhere and siddown.” And as I would say, R E S P E C T!

    Idol, your shot to get a real superstar, I say jump on and watch your ratings soar.

  33. Renee and Butch – YOu two have no clue as to what is going on and Kathie Lee really has no clue as to what is going on. Aretha is more than qualified to judge the amature program they call American Idol. Everyone stands to learn a h**l of a lesson about music and entertainment from aretha.

  34. Aretha Franklin is the Queen of Soul and I do not want to see her as a judge on American Idol. Frankly, I don’t think Aretha would have the patience to listen to the weirdos who try and come on the show for attention. A better idea would be for Aretha to mentor the contestants or have an Arethan Franklin show on American Idol. I think the show is beneath her and she could do better. I think Aretha would become bored with the show. I love Aretha and she is talented and oh what a voice.

    • YOU KNOW PRINCESS U MAY BE RIGHT HUN. SHE MIGHT BE BETTER OFF AS A MENTOR THEN A JUDGE. EITHER WAY I WANNA SEE HER ON THE SHOW!!!

  35. ROBERT E. POWELL

    What does having to ride a bus? The main point her experience would be great on the show. If she walked there what does that matter.

  36. ROBERT E. POWELL

    Correction: What does that matter that she would ride a bus place to place?

  37. Oh my, and she was so gracious to Kathy Lee, who was just way off the mark…. Would love to see Aretha on Idol, because she would bring so much talent and know-how to the table. Interest in the show would be revived, and of this, I have no doubt…

  38. Kathy Lee… I have seen Aretha’s hits sang on AI by the kids you say are her grandchildren’s age. Besides the talentless recent winners would sing Mozart of they could to win the prize. Aretha’s shelf full of Grammy’s, here multitude of no. 1 hits, the quality of her musicianship and her status in the music industry make her an excellent judge of a mediocre amateur talent show. And Kathy, don’t be surprized if most young singers know exactly who Aretha is, like most teens into baseball know who Babe Ruth is. Certain heights of excellence surpass age, gender, ethnicity – anything. The one & only Queen of Soul is certainly in that category.

  39. I love the QUEEN. I will love her music until the day I die but that does not mean my grandchildren will appreciate what she would bring to a show which I have never watched and have no inclination to.

  40. Kathy Lee Gifford finally gave me a reason to say what a mess her mind must be in to say AF is out of touch with music and people who enjoy music. I can assure you KLG, at your age and your lack of musical talent,which your complete lack of success in your efforts to record and sell. I can assure you no one except that eighty something F G you’re married to have told you have talent. Therefore how did you prop your mouth to advise,or criticize one of the greatest talent god ever created. I suggest to you,look at that real old man sleeping next to you and tell him he is out of touch and he should never try to talk about the talent of a young football player. If he reaches for you for affection would tell him he out of touch so don’t touch. I hope you really read AF rebuttal to you,she gave you an old fashion tounge lashing for real. That lady has so much class, she was pleasant and well spoken,gave you much more than you deserve. I think maybe you been around FG to long and perhaps have gained a disdain for older generation. If you think about it,what you said about AF,is probably more pertaining to you,simply because you are actually an older woman and have always been a square, and your music that you have forced on the public,has failed every time HATER you have always been one. IF YOU KNOW HOW TO READ BETWEEN THE LINES,MY NOTE SAYS A LOT MORE THAN THE ACTUAL WORDS, as I said from the beginning,you gave me an opportunity I have longed for,in closing if I was a betting man I would bet HODA hate your A..peace

  41. I am no spring chicken myself, so I will give you my unbiased opinion on this. Steven Tyler was too old to be a judge on American Idol, and Aretha Franklin, who I admire, and love, is also too old to be a judge on American Idol. Just because Kathy Lee Gifford, who happens to be white, made this observation, makes her comment, or her a racist. I am black as h**l,and defends my people to the utmost, so does that also make me a racist? People, not everything has to do with racism, and to suggest this is stupid, and make real racial issues seem irrelevant, or not to be believed. Everyone, has their own opinion, irregardless of the color of their skin. By the way, Kathy Lee, is also herself nearly too old, to be on the Today Show.

  42. My question who the h**l is Kathie Lee Gifford, no body as far as I am concerned. Some of these people who they have on TV, making decision and judgementfor all of us, I dont know if they are smart enough to know to wash their hands after they use the bathroom, that goes for Kathie Lee Gifford. I watched the Today show a few times and she is so nasiating to listen, she make me want to vomit.Who is she to tell people with talent that they are too old, or who would like them. With age comes experience b***h. Because you may have earned your stripes laying on your back, dosen’t mean that is how everybody else have to do. What is your telent, other than open your mouth and let s—t fly out instead of thru your rear end?.The today show have lost its relevance, but still we put with it, because there is nothing on the air anymore worthy of watching.You should go sit somewhere and shut your stupid mouth.

  43. kathie lee you old drunk a*s b***h who in the h**l are you to talk about who’s too old i don’t look at your show only because of you. is betty white to old to work? if they had ask you,you would have jump like a rabbit

  44. Keep Your EYE on The Prize

    My daughter is 20yo and she loves the music of AF.If more young people listen to her music, especially take note to the words, the younger genertation would be much better.The contestants on American Idol are judge on the features that AF and other older artists have.Who would be a better judge than the one who help set the standard for the music industry.I really appreciate the way AF responded to KG comment. That’s show one How to stand up for themselves and still show R-E-S-P-E-C-T. If you don’t know where you come from how do you know where you are going. I love you AF keeping singing.

  45. Kathie Lee was too old to sit next to Regis another season or two, is why she got canned.

  46. Moonhead – Go moon yourself.

  47. Aretha would make a great judge. Kathy Lee should worry about her own life!!!!

  48. Aretha Franklin would be perfect for the role. Aretha is an American Icon and success story. None of the others could measure up to her past experiences in this field.

    She earned and deserves to have her wish to be an AM judge.

    What is the difference between her and all the other previous judges? What: Race, weight, Looks, Age? Pleae give me a break. Equal Opportunity For All Qulaified individuals.

  49. Stop stop making every d**n thing about race! d**n! You black folks are having a fit because Kathy is white. Read her d**n comment thoroughly; she was not mean, she was very respectful. She gave her opinion. In my opinion, Steve Tyler was too old too. Some would disagree with me. Very few of you could name more than two or three of Aretha’s songs anyway.You are getting all excited and angry about this but you don’t buy her music anyway. Probably none of you could name one of her albums. So stop pretending that you give a d**n about Aretha Franklin. I don’t think she’s too old, but that is my opinion.

    • SHUT THE F***UP BYRON!!!!!!!!

    • Byron Lee, stop lumping a whole race together “you black people” Really? You, “whatever you are” are always doing that. By the way more than a lot of us “black folk” CAN name more than 2or 3 of Aretha’s songs, including her hits, thank you.

  50. Music is music and it is for all ages.I find that ageism(like racism) is a big problem in the US where a lot of younger ones are most prejudiced against older people and they don’t realise that a lot of them will themselves get old too.Lady Soul Aretha Franklin,my favourite female singer in the U.S. would bring much needed priceless teaching to American Idol.Let the Queen be.Elders have knowledge the young would do well to benefit from.Kathy Lee,how ‘young’ are you?

  51. TELL KATHIE TOO STAY IN HER LANE OR SHOULD I SAY STAY ON THE SIDEWALK!!!

  52. LET’S SEE, BETTY WHITE 90 SOMETHING, MARILYN MONROE (WHO?) BEEN DEAD OVER 50 YEARS ON COVER OF LIFE MAGAZINE!!!!…..WHOSE KIDDING WHO HERE….lol

  53. Kathie Lee is dead wrong for several reasons. First of all the judges on American Idol are either realatively unknown or no longer relavent.
    Who knew Simon before idol, who knew a bass player named Randy Jackson, the Laker girl(Paula) hadn’t put out any music in years. Consider the only judge AI had that had a thriving career was Elleen. Not even Jennifer (I need to marry everyone I date)Lopez has a relavent career. Think about it her music doesn’t stay on the charts? How many times were we going to be subjected to Jennifer using AI to debut some “cheesy” (couldn’t use crappy)song & dance routine. And finally le’s talk about Steven Tyler who should have been fired for his numerous over the top s****l comments to the females (even a few females under 18). As for Kathie…hmmmm remove the blonde colorng from her hair, then how many would think she’s too old?

  54. I am so glad you told me about this! Great use of my email bandwidth

  55. Kathie’s statement is nothing but a perpetuation of the kind of generational gap issues fostered in American culture between ages that is unheard of in other cultures. I run into young people all the time who appreciate the roots of hip hop music and beyond. Absolutely Aretha Franklin can be a judge;she is one of the founding matriarchs from which a legacy and tradition of this music continues through modernity hip hop and pop culture!!! END THIS STUPID SEPARATION c**p NOW!

  56. So an Italian-American (Steve Telerico/Tyler) could be an American idol with no problem, but not an African American woman that I think is absolutely awesome? Let the kids learn if they don’t know who she is. Let them step up to the plate! I support Aretha Franklin.

    Basil

  57. And Steven Tyler is how old? He looks 70 if he’s not. Who better to judge a singing competition than the Queen of Soul herself. Get real people.

  58. I agree with Kathy Lee. There is a time and a place for everything. She is to0 old and too talented to be on such a show.

  59. Can,t stand american idol but Aretha Franklin should definetly be given the chance to be a judge on the show ,she would give the show more class and credibility.As for Kathy Gifford she just needs to shut the f**k up.

  60. Kathy Lee is too old herself,she needs to get off the today show and let the young folks do their thing.

  61. I don’t watch American Idol because I think it’s a s**t show and should go off into the sunset. I am very biased when it comes to Aretha Franklin because she is my all-time favoritie performer, so I would love to see her on American Idol.

    However, I do have to agree with kathie Lee in part because of the demographics that shows like American Idol use to determine the target audience. They do target the young folks and they young folks will not take kindly to the Great Aretha.

    Just one opinion of a biased Aretha Fan.

  62. Who better than Aretha? I was at her concert on Sunday in Las Vegas. The audience was varied in age, gender and race. I sat next to a grandmother from Utah whose grandchildren listens to Aretha and live it because that is the music their grandmother listens to. Aretha’s music will NEVER grow old, and neither will she!! She knows good talent when she hears and sees it. Check out the groups she is responsible for having groomed. Kathy Lee only has an opinion of which she is ill informed. KEEP IT GOING ARETHA!!!

  63. My question is,Who da h**l is Kathy Lee? As a 72 year old, I can surley do with out her but I can do without Areatha.

  64. THERESA LINDSEY

    GIRL FRIEND.HAVE YOU LOST IT…….THE QUEEN, TOO OLD….? SHE IS THE ONLY ONE QUALIFIED……SHE IS TALENTED…..AND KNOW’S MUSIC, LIKE NO ONE ELSE… HIT AFTER HIT. AWARD AFTER AWARD…..HAVE YOU TAKEN LEAVE OF ALL YOUR SENSES..? I WILL END IT THERE…ANYTHING MORE WOULD BE A WASTE OF TIME…..FOR A DUMB STATEMENT YOU MADE OUT OF IGNORANCE…..FEEL BLESSED YOU MADE.”NAME THAT TUNE” AS I THOUGHT THEN AS NOW……..YOU HAVE ONLY THE DESIRE, AND NEED SOMEONE WILLING TO LISTEN.UNLIKE WITH ARETHA…..WHO HAS THE VOICE, SOUL, TALENT.UNPARALELLED BY ANY OTHER……..IF YOU DIDN’T KNOW I WOULD SUGGEST, YOU ASK SOMEONE.NEXT TIME..THINK BEFOR YOU SPEAK……….JUST SAYING….!

  65. If you want to be in the music industry and you don’t know who Aretha is,then you are in the WRONG business. She is bringing years of experience and expertise to the table, this woman can sing all genres of music. It is an insult for Kathie Lee, a mediocre singer to utter those words….

  66. maxine Williams

    kathy should do more research. Part of the entertainment business, is that the legends,get forgotten.
    She is one of the greatest singers of all times.
    Our youth can learn alot from these greats.
    I applaud her for wanting to be a judge and feel she will be very fair.
    After all, she is THE QUEEN OF SOUl. Would Katy object if Dolly Parton wanted to be a judge. I think she would be great also.
    Maybe more of the older singers should get together and teach the youth.
    Sorry, my comments are deleting.
    I like katy,butI think she needs to read the biography about Aretha and realize that her comments are off base.
    I am an Aretha fan and a baby boomer, so let us give credit to the greats. katy will you be too old to give the news. You are not that young.I am surprised. In fact, you sound a little jealous.

  67. maxine Williams

    I am sorry but the first part of my comments were accidentally deleted.
    I say shame on Katy and You go Arehta. You are one of my favorites.

  68. maxine Williams

    I commented that the television show DUETS,has the singers, doing so many of the genres,Gospel, R&B,Classic, so forth, who could better judge,American Idol, than Aretha, who has sung it all, even a little jazz and maybe some country.
    It would do these young uprising idols to appreciate the real IDOLS.
    I would love to see Aretha do the “DUETS” show and some of the other Great singers.

  69. maxine Williams

    P.S. I do not usually write comments,but I want to add: I have met Ms. Franklin and she is a warm,caring person. I would think katie would have supported her,just so that some young future singers,enertainers could have the opportunity to meet her.
    I am so tired of the media, whomever, making Ms. Franklin seem like some one who does not deserve the respect she has.
    There are many singers, who would love to be in her place.
    Yes, I am bias, because the comment was just mean.I feel Ms. Katie should apologize, if she has not already and be careful what she says in the future about anyone,in a negative way.
    We do read and hear these comments.It diminishes my respect for some of the news reporters, who are so quick to put down someone of Ms. Franklin’s ability to be titled Queen of Soul,but she also is an expert in piano playing so she could judge a musical competiton.
    I would love to have Ms. Franklin and others mentor some of our uprising singers.

  70. maxine Williams

    I would suggest that anyone, who has not followed Ms. Franklin”s career read the biography about her.
    I have all of her records and she tells a story in her songs.
    She, as many are the roots of our musical heritage.yes, she is one among many,but since when did age stop a person from being who they are.
    She is capable to judge and in fact AI should have asked her!
    Maybe if she had been a judge when Jennifer Hudson was on and some of the others, who were rejected, we would have some great young singers.
    I hope more of the Icons, Idols, will come forth and maybe we will see some greater talents in the younger generations.
    let us be grateful that Ms. Franklin is still here!

  71. OMG Did the Queen of Soul loose hearing and her ability to recognize excellent singing?,and Kathie Lee can judge this?.really Kathie Lee,respect the Queen of Soul,her age and her abilities and capabilities.

  72. Like the movie the Help reminded us, there are folks who grew up looking down on black people. What these folks say and what they do is rooted in white supremacy.

  73. If Aretha Franklin becomes a judge, It will watch the show again. My daughter (who is in her 30s) and I had stopped watching the show because it had become boring. Ms. Franklin is real, down-to-earth, and outspoken. I think she can speak from experience when she gives her assessments. (And I don’t think she will get teary, overly emotional, or superficial.)

    I think Ms. Franklin will provide a good balance for Mariah Carey (who is also a diva but will bring the s*x factor to the show). Young performers really do like to get wisdom from veterans and age is not a disability. I think ratings will go up after Ms. Franklin signs her contract and sits in the judge’s chair. When Kathy Lee Gifford gets to be Aretha Franklin’s age, I am sure she will change her rhetoric.

  74. Whew one thing I’ve learned Never call a woman OLD u will start a war real quick.

  75. Wow! My mother used to say,” Oh for the gift to see ourselves, as others see us.” And it still rings true. Michael Jackson sang it best; ” I’m looking at the man in the mirror. ” Kathie Lee looks nice for her age, but she’s gotten older. In comparison, she appears more mature than her co-host, Hoda. Not that she’s too old, but they don’t look to be in the same age bracket. Besides, Ms. Franklin has developed a particular skills, that would place in a more amenable position to judge contestants. I think that it would be a more sound, and productive idea for Ms. Franklin to be a participant judge on American idol. I mean, who ever told Sanatra that he was too old to sing, or Ms. Osbourne that she was too old either? I mean that’s just my opinion.

  76. YOU KNOW WHAT? I BET IF IT WAS FRANK SINATRA OR VICK DAMONE GETTING AN INVITE TO AMERIKAN IDOL. KATHY LEE WOULD BE JUMPING WITH JOY WITH BLOOMER PUDDING IN HER PANTIES

  77. Aretha doesn’t need to retire. But, as far as American Idol is concerned I agree with Kathie Lee. She is too old. She has been very sick this past year also, and couldn’t even make it to Whitney’s funeral. But, honestly I am surprised that American Idol is even still on. I think it has gone way down hill, ever since the first two or maybe three years. Aretha is a legend, but she would probably hurt herself physically trying to keep up with that show, especially when it travels across the U.S.

  78. Polnische Band Polnische Hochzeit Deutsch polnische Band polnische

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