Aretha Franklin wants to be a judge on American Idol

Queen of Soul would 'love to be a mentor' on reality TV show

Aretha Franklin has expressed an interest to be a judge on American Idol. Following last week's announcement that Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler will be leaving the show, the Queen of Soul has offered to appear on the next season.

Franklin mentioned American Idol in an interview with the Las Vegas Sun: "I still haven't been on American Idol … I'd love to be a mentor." Asked if she would consider joining the panel, Franklin told CNN: "Yes I am interested as a judge!" The singer is apparently a fan of the US TV series, and is even considering bringing along singer Patti LaBelle. Franklin, 70, and LaBelle, 68, would be the oldest judges in the history of the show.

Speaking to the Las Vegas Sun, Franklin said she had tried before to appear on American Idol. "It seems that each time I come to the west coast, they're just going on vacation," said the singer, who has a phobia of flying.

American Idol's network, Fox, and its producers, Freemantle Media, have yet to respond to Franklin's offer. But the 18-time Grammy winner is not the only artist to be discussed as a potential judge. After Lopez and Tyler enjoyed a boost to their flagging careers by appearing on the show, many A-listers now seem like plausible replacements. Mariah Carey, Adam Lambert and Kelly Clarkson are rumoured to be under consideration.

Despite a health scare in 2010, Franklin has been busy over the last 18 months. She released a new album last year, performed at Whitney Houston's funeral, and last week headlined the Essence music festival in New Orleans. She is currently on tour in the US. "I'm doing fabulous, just fabulous," she told the Las Vegas Sun. "I'm healthy, wise and still working."


Sean Michaels

The GuardianTramp

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