Aretha Franklin is working on an album of ‘divas covers’, with a release date tentatively scheduled for September, according to an interview recently published in Billboard magazine.
In the piece, the Queen of Soul says she is “more than happy” with the progress of the upcoming set, but she acknowledges that with five songs done, a sixth in motion and four more to go, time is now of the essence.
“Well, Clive [Davis] is concerned, but we’re on it. We are ON it,” she told the US trade publication, referencing the man who’s executively producing the project. So far producers have included Babyface and Daryl Simmons, while OutKast’s Andre 3000 will oversee the last four tracks after Don Was had to bow out due to schedule conflicts.
“I’m pretty sure it’s going to be fun working with [Andre], just watching his videos and things,” Franklin says. “It should be fun. And, of course, they all come with great music, so I expect that.”
Diva covers? Well, Franklin has so far cut renditions of Gladys Knight & the Pips‘ Midnight Train To Georgia, Barbra Streisand‘s People, Donna Summer‘s Last Dance and Tina Turner‘s What’s Love Got To Do With It, with Adele‘s Rolling In The Deep next in line.
“I love all of them, the original versions,” says Franklin. “[Clive] picked the songs and I approved or didn’t approve, so it’s just an easy CD to do because I liked all of them.” And, she adds, fans can expect plenty of Queen of Soul flavor on each of the songs.
“[The originals] are classic versions and we’re certainly aware of that, and we’re going to do them justice,” promises Franklin. “People are different, you know? What they did is not what I’m going to do, and what I’m gonna do is not what they did. You won’t be disappointed; we’re going to give you exactly what you’re expecting and what you’re not expecting.”
Which about covers everything.