Aretha Franklin Weighs In On Adele’s Success / Questions Longevity

Published: Friday 4th Dec 2015 by Sam

The Queen of Soul Aretha Franklin has enjoyed a career spanning many a decade, hence the ‘Respect’ singer has seen an endless list of names come and go.

With this generation very much dominated by blue-eyed soul songbird Adele, it’s little surprise that the outspoken legend has an opinion on the ‘Hello’ belter.

More below…

Contributing to a BB feature discussing the epic launch of the British star’s ’25’ album, Franklin said of the mega-seller:

“[Adele] reaches the woman of ­unrequited love, the man-that-got-away woman. There’s a tear in her voice that anyone who has ever been in love and lost is acquainted with. What sets Adele apart is her ­writing — lyrics women can relate to. But only time will tell where she stands in terms of other great vocalists of the 21st century, not sales.”

Though some may receive this as shade (and, given Aretha’s track-record, we’re sure there’s specks of it in there), she’s not wrong.

In this era, there tends to be the premature practice of coronating icons, legends, and royals based on sales alone. And while we’re sure Adele is well on her way, it won’t be her sales alone (especially in such a condensed space of time) that will facilitate that.

For now though, let’s re-live this. It remains amazing for a whole heap of reasons 😉

Your thoughts?

[Photo credit: Getty]

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  1. LB December 4, 2015


  2. LB December 4, 2015

    Aretha didn’t say anything shady anyway, all she did was make an observation, and a justified one at that.

    This is not like her iconic “ok…great gowns, beautiful gowns” Taylor read, that had me cracking.

    • Who gonna check me boo?? December 4, 2015

      Oh my God that flawless shade is iconic she deserves a award for that it is up there with classics like “I don’t know her!”

    • when will AnnalisekeatingsNewwig finally admit that she is nothing but a butch d**** with a clít the size of August Alsina’s D December 4, 2015

      Kii epic read!!!!

    • King Mark111 /.\ December 4, 2015

      Well at least Taylor got some kind of nice words, Icky got hit with a No Comment. Lol

  3. Bruce December 4, 2015

    Aretha is the Queen of Shade. Aretha tends to like only the singers singers – Mariah, Whitney, Anita, Gladys.

    She’s made shady comments about alot of current singers, like Taylor Swift.

    She is a great vocalist and she has paved the way for many a singer. BUT, put her on stage with Patti Labelle and she would be demolished. What a B_itch.

    • truth(Janet is QWEEN, was a hot MaDINOSAUR is a flop! Deal!) December 4, 2015

      S*** ip sissy

    • Cali December 4, 2015

      Patti could never do what Aretha does. Don’t get me wrong, Patti can sang but hollering does not equate to blowing anyone out of the water. Aretha has that same “tear in her voice” that she described Adele as having. Aretha’s voice is a wonder in itself. That tone, that emotion, that SOUL….its incomparable. “Ain’t No Way” kills everything Patti has done, sorry. Love ha though.

      • Faf December 4, 2015

        Aretha be yelling too tho

  4. josh December 4, 2015

    Ergh. Aretha does not look OR sound good. Her chest voice has such limited range and her overuse of head voice is pitchy and grating. If anybody else went on XFactor etc and sang like that they would be torn apart. She needs extensive vocal re-training as her voie has changed so much with her ill health, weight gain and (of course) age.

    • Cali December 4, 2015

      Aretha is 100 years old. She doesn’t need to do anything but remain legendary and shady. Her voice was in pristine condition for damn near 40 years. Let her bitchy ass live lol.

    • Casual-T December 4, 2015

      Thank you. Right on point.

    • Nikki December 4, 2015

      That song was awful. Every song is not meant to have a churchy sound to it. I would be ashamed if my song was ruined like that.

  5. HailBeysus December 4, 2015

    No lies detected!! Aretha simply spoke truth. Sales alone don’t make one a Legend. Adele is definitely on the path to Legendary status, theirs no doubt about that. But if she ain’t going to change the sound of music or reshape the industry. She is going to need to be consistent with her albums and artistry. Very few have been transitioned to Lengend status off of one album. Lauryn Hill, Kurt Cobain just to name a few. They reshaped the industry and sound of music. So people calling her legend solely off sales is just ridiculous to me. I still love her and will continue to support her no matter what! NOW GIVE US THEM DAMN US TOUR DATES GIRL!!! Lol! PS I didn’t think Aretha came off shady at all. She simply spoke the truth.

    • You H*oes Are Simple December 5, 2015

      I agree but what I got from Aretha’s comment was that her music is good and relatable but Adele isnt even close to one on the top vocalists out there right now. The miserable sad love songs over the winter is somewhat of a gimmick of its own. Adele’s voice has gotten stronger since the 21 era I will say. But she never sang the high notes live for “Someone like you” and a lot of other songs whenever she performed them which was always disappointing but everyone was too far up her ass to call her out. We see what happened to the queen on stunts and gimmicks that is Gaga’s entire career and where she stands now. Hmmmm we’ll see miss Adele.

    • BeyIsKing December 4, 2015

      You are literally obsessed with Bey. No one spends this much time and effort of their lives investing them in someone you hate. You are the definition of undercover stan. No one can blame you though because Bey is the greatest.

      • .:: Centurion ::. December 4, 2015

        ????? Yes. I’m Beybola’s biggest fan. ????

    • Taylor Tori Azalea December 4, 2015

      kiii that’s a good one keep up the good work and Drag the
      toth daily 👏
      But how many days/weeks/months/years for Anti to have at least a release date

    • Avi December 4, 2015

      How many more days left til #9yearsago — y’know, the last time Rihanna had an album that went multiplatinum?! Ooop! 😀

  6. Barb-wire (#8DaysOfOnika) December 4, 2015

    Sam you’re reaching as usual! Where’s the shade, Aretha only spoke the truth and what some of us are thinking.

  7. Arianator Barb December 4, 2015

    If anything this should be said to Taylor, I don’t think she’ll be remembered or be held to the same regard as legends. Shania Twain is not looked at as in the league of Madonna, Mariah, MJ, Whitney etc yet she had sales out the ass. Same will happen to Taylor. As for Adele, she’ll achieve legendary status for sure

    • Taylor Tori Azalea December 4, 2015

      Dawn you are HOT……. But your faves are both declining one won’t survive without a feature and the other won’t without her ghostwriter
      are My Everything and yours Truly certified Nicki Minaj or should I say PLASTIC yet???
      Please save it and serve your OBVIOUSLY sexually,violently abused twink’y body

      • when will AnnalisekeatingsNewwig finally admit that she is nothing but a butch d**** with a clít the size of August Alsina’s D December 4, 2015

        You disgust me

    • MUSICHEAD December 4, 2015

      Let’s leave Shania Twain out of this. Country artists are never compared to pop artists. Shania is a country legend dead or alive.

      Taylor on the other hand has disassociated herself from country music and is now considered a pop artist. She will not be regarded as a diva but she will be regarded as a legendary singer/songwriter like Carly Simon and Stevie Nicks.

  8. DanYiel Iman December 4, 2015

    Lol Aretha speaks TRUTH & folks can’t take it..Except don’t do #Patti Labelle!

  9. No favs, just here for the music December 4, 2015

    She speaks the truth

  10. when will AnnalisekeatingsNewwig finally admit that she is nothing but a butch d**** with a clít the size of August Alsina’s D December 4, 2015

    Kii you better speak the truth Auntie Aretha

    • Taylor Tori Azalea December 4, 2015

      lmfao did you just say I disgust you ABOVE???
      Did you read your username? is that anti-disguisting
      Till Annelise unleashes you (her BeAST) maybeY just mayBEY you can @me till then see ya Rihnavy

      • Chile, leave my weave at the door and don’t steal it like those broke ass barb stans December 4, 2015

        Read, @Taylor, read her for filth!

        Side note: I’ve tried so hard to get into “Change” but I just can’t. I think it’s the worst song she’s ever recorded and written.

  11. Royalkev December 4, 2015

    In this era, there tends to be the premature practice of coronating icons, legends, and royals based on sales alone

    ^Pretty much this! The reach to magnify Adele’s status is done quite hastily around here. I’ve seen so many people comparing Adele to artists that have proven themselves when it comes down to having staying power. Adele may be the biggest artist in the world right now, but she still comes behind Beyonce, Britney, Rihanna, Pink, and Taylor. Those ladies are either near the 10 year mark or have gone beyond it. Adele still has some ways to go before reaching that milestone. Imo, 10 years cements your icon status and your legendary after 20 years (OFFICIALLY). People should allow these artist to reach that benchmark before comparing them to icons (and legends, especially) because it just doesn’t make any sense to do so! Hammer, Alanis and Norah Jones can all brag about being the biggest artist on the face the earth at one time, but their impact hasn’t been felt long enough to make them legendary.

    • Cali December 4, 2015

      Thissssss! Sure, Adele is a mega seller right now but that doesn’t solidify legendary status. There are a few artists out there with diamond albums who have been totally forgotten. Adele is hella talented but let’s give this girl some time to rock. ??

    • Lake Erie December 4, 2015

      Ugh, I agree with you but unfortunately somes this generation of “ears” will not see it that way. They’re looking at her like she’s “music’s” savior and yet, like you said she still has benchmarks to meet. And some of those benchmarks may never be met, cuz all she talks about is “simply” making music. And ain’t nothing wrong with that. But some of the arists you named can not compare yet. They’ve proven themselves on many levels.

  12. Taylor swifts number 1 fan!! December 4, 2015

    Taylor swift is a legend! And sales so make you a legend! The amount you sell is the thing that sets you apart from the other singers.

    people can try and discredit Taylor, like the person who made that comment, but her impact on music is real and next year, her album will be the most anticipated of the year.

    • Taylor Tori Azalea December 4, 2015

      Thank You……..

    • Cali December 4, 2015

      Not. Taylor is iconic right now. Norah Jones has a diamond album and a few multi platinums. As does Shania Twain but honestly, who remembers them? Lol. A legend is someone who…15,20,30+ years from now still gets play and rings bells in all age groups (Aretha, Barbra, Whitney, Mariah, Celine, U2, Tina Turner, Patti)…….their impact and contribution to music is undeniable

      • Taylor swifts number 1 fan!! December 4, 2015

        Who remembers sharia twain? I think most people do… Even in the Uk… People know of her.

        And Taylor has been going for 10 years now, 6 albums. All her albums have been successful.

    • Truth December 4, 2015

      Taylor Swift is not a legend by any means. Her most iconic moment was being interrupted by Kanye. When the smoke clears, that’s what people will remember most about her. Not her conveyor belt pop songs for Radio Disney. Just stop. You’re embarrassing yourself.

  13. black heart people December 4, 2015

    She is black so she only likes black ..see how she was so disrespectful to the pop she performed and just walk off never to greet the pop disrespectful

  14. black heart people December 4, 2015

    She is mad it’s not a black person

    • Cali December 4, 2015

      Lmaooooo bye Aretha shades everybody boo. Don’t forget Patti was her archnemises for 30 years. Eye roll

  15. Sean December 4, 2015

    I’m sorry but when Taylor falls, she’s going to fall hard. The white community has proven that when they’re over you, they’re OVER you and there’s no coming back. Look at Britney, Jessica, Mandy Moore, Lady Gaga….the pop music world is so cruel to their artists. Blacks may not buy music as much but their once upon a time artists are still able to record, tour and remain semi relevant in the industry: Ashanti, Monica, Brandy and others.

    • Taylor swifts number 1 fan!! December 4, 2015

      People were saying the same about Justin bieber… Look at him now… He has 3 singles in the top 5 in the uk.
      Taylor’s sales will slow down, when she passes 30, but that’s normal for 99 percent of artists,

    • Lake Erie December 4, 2015

      I got to agree with this, I can name a few black artist, or as you said (once upon a time) artist who have rebounded too. And for, some not just once in their career. I look at Christina Aguilera, and think like man she killed it once upon a time on the charts, selling millions. I don’t think she’ll ever rebound. Her last two albums didn’t do like her others. I still enjoy some of her music tho.

  16. Lake Erie December 4, 2015

    Yes! Speak on it Aretha. Time/Longivity is what’s significant. Not sales. If her reign does come to a halt soon, she’d just be another artist entered into the “Guinness Boook of World Records”.

  17. What now December 4, 2015

    Even tho I love Adele, I wanted to read Shaderetha’s new quote, but Aretha (surprisingly) kept it cute. She didn’t lie, but I truly believe that Adele that will be a legend. I think she will follow the Sade path of releasing blockbuster albums every 4-5 years and slay that way. Just my thoughts.

    SN: LB I still fall out of my chair at that beautiful gowns shade.

  18. HailBeysus December 4, 2015

    Lmao at them 2 T-Swizzle stans seething over truth tea being spilt!
    Is Taylor even considered the greatest voice of her generation?
    Is Taylor is even considered the best song writer of her generation?
    Is Taylor even considered the best entertainer of her generation?
    Has Taylor even released an Iconic album that sets a blue print for other artist to follow?
    Has Taylor even owned a decade?
    Has Taylor impacted pop culture in a way that will reflect on pop culture years down the line?
    Are any of Taylor’s songs still being played on the radio 20 years later after she stepped out on the scene?
    Does anyone even go on the x factor, american idol, the voice or Ameircas got talent and say “im going to sing a Taylot Swift song” and the judges reply with “Oh well thats going to be a tough one. I hope you practiced and warmed up your voice?

  19. Christina Aguilera December 4, 2015

    Hope her album gets atleast 2 grammy’s cuz only Hello is the thing in it.

  20. Taylor swifts number 1 fan!! December 4, 2015

    Has Taylor ever owned a decade?
    Well in the worlds most profitable music market, Aka the states she has. No one can deny that.
    Taylor’s albums sales in the states are up there with the greatest acts of all time… Which puts her up there with legends.

    • Duck me December 4, 2015

      Sis don’t bother arguing with that Bey stan their kind is as delusional as the fatherless navy.
      People try so hard to discredit Taylor Swift and her achievements yes she may not be able to sing or kill the stage hey she’s basic AF by at least she is staying her peers and breaking records along the way

      • Taylor swifts number 1 fan!! December 4, 2015

        Yup I know, her sales do all the talking for me. I guess it’s hard for some people to take.

    • OMG Logic!!! December 4, 2015

      Sales because God knows no one remembers any of her songs once she releases a new album. The definition of forgettable.

  21. HailBeysus December 4, 2015

    @Duck Lmao how am i discrediting Taylor??? Im not the one who called her Basic AF kiii even tho she is. Did I say her song writing was garbage? I simply asked Questions as to what qualifies Taylor as a Legend after 10 years in the game. Obvious answer was Album sales. he couldn’t even answer any of the others. FYI Taylor never owned a decade. Beyonce was crowned the top female act that ruled the 00s and Rihanna is already being crownd as the top female act to rule the 10s

  22. coolness December 4, 2015

    I didn’t see any shade in Aretha’s comments because she’s right. Think about it, the likes of Whitney, Mariah, Celine, Christina Aguilera, Beyonce, Adele – all great singers – found more commercial success than Franklin ever saw during her heyday. However, that doesn’t change the fact that she’s probably the most influential vocalist of all time as she birthed so many of the great divas that we praise today. Adele’s current slayage is incredible especially when considering the sorry state the industry is in. However, that doesn’t make her a legend because there are many artists who broke records and achieved stunning commercial heights but are an afterthought when the topic of true game changers are brought up.

  23. MUSICHEAD December 4, 2015

    So basically, Aretha just called Adele a loser who makes music for other losers. Hilarious! “I am the Queen of Shoul” (in my GOT2BREAL voice) lol. #Rollingintheshade

  24. MsThing485 December 4, 2015

    The true mark of an icon/legend is how well they readjust and maintain AFTER they peak and aren’t the hottest thing happening at the moment. Adele has solidified herself for the record books, but she hasn’t proven herself to be more than a fad. Not saying she won’t, but at this point no one can tell the difference between true fans of her music and people are are just following her to be part of the crowd.

    Norah Jones, Backstreet/Nsync, Alanis, Shania, Gaga are all icons of their time…but they didn’t leave a real mark after their peak years. When they were no longer the hottest thing or the industry standard, a storm cloud started hovering over their careers that left them looking depressed/exhausted.

    We need to see how strong Adele’s continued presence remains when she puts out an album that only does 50% (or less) of her biggest selling album. 21/25 is her having her moment. Her future can’t be read by it.

    As far as Taylor goes, she plays to an extremely shallow audience of kids and very young adults who WILL move on from her act once it gets too old, too stale and predictable. She’s been shiny enough to get kids attention and is safe enough for their parents to feel comfortable with. I don’t see how she can evolve from that once that gets old. Adele I can see having a career that adjusts to not being the IT-girl. Taylor won’t. Watch. She’s gonna put out that album that oddly does nothing and she won’t know how to move forward.

  25. Dossome December 4, 2015

    Umm,I do agree with alot of what she says but sales DO make icons and legends too.If Whitney retired immediately after The Bodyguard she’d be considered an icon too…The Beatles didn’t even last 10 years together.What about Amy Winehouse?heck,even Minnie Ripperton is an icon despite her short career and average sales.There’s no definite criteria to gauge what’s iconic and what’s not.Toni Braxton’s commercial relevance died after her 3rd album but is she not an icon?How about Brandy?Interestingly,casual fans cannot name more than 5 tunes of people like P!nk,Garth Brooks etc,artists who’ve shown great consistency in sales for over a decade yet they’ll easily drop several songs by Destinys Child,TLC,Tupac etc,artists who haven’t really done anything in the last 10 years…I can comfortably say Lauryn Hill,Aaliyah,Adele and Amy have made more impact than P!nk,Rihanna and the likes…It’s really an interesting but complicated subject

  26. Pat December 4, 2015

    Adele is overated, especially this album. Say what you want about Swift, her album had atleast somewhat of a buzz for a while. Hello’s hype and 25 is dying down just as fast as Beyonce’s surprise self titled album. Although i’m not surprised being that their under the same label where marketing is the key!

    • Linear December 4, 2015

      When Adele is still #1 in March, and has long outsold TS’s current album, come back and elaborate. Sweetheart, you and other TS fans are just bitter because Adele invalidated whatever place you thought she held. That shoulder chip is deep. See a chiropractor!

  27. King Mark111 /.\ December 4, 2015

    Adele sale is huge and great because albums don’t sell like that today, or yesterday in a week. So for her to be a big woman with a voice and a pen and the world supporting that, it’s epic. Think about it, the record she broke was a pop tart (Britney) and a boyband (Nsync), and I’ll go there, when the music bizz was extremely commercial (I’ll add to that another day). So yes, she’s a superstar, well a great artist and maybe the artist of OUR time, as in this gen.

  28. King Mark111 /.\ December 4, 2015

    And like S A M said (and i can’t believe I’m agreeing with him), Franklin seen singers come and go and more singers come and go. From Dianna to Whitney to Studio Vocalist Marrah to Fatina to whomever you want to name today. This is when you use the word legend and Queen. So yea, Adele is a star but give it time before we give her a title.

  29. Walker December 4, 2015

    What goes up comes down and the bigger they are, the harder they fall. Adele is obviously having a mammoth moment right now and kudos to her for it, but if her fall is as massive as her rise, then in the end her legacy will be more tragic than inspiring. If I were an artist, I wouldn’t want such behemoth success because it eventually becomes a Frankenstein monster that turns on its creator. How can you possibly top a 21 or Thriller? Realistically you can’t. But all artists are perceived to only be as good as the success of their last album. And if you dont top what you did before, people will write you off as a failure, no matter how good you actually still did by normal circumstances. MJ spent the rest of his life trying to top Thriller. He couldn’t do it, it drove him crazy and people snickered until it ultimately killed him. Was it worth it?

    • whenindoubtthetruthwillout December 4, 2015

      Adele herself has already said that she doesn’t think she will ever top “21”!!!!!

  30. Casual-T December 4, 2015

    Respect, Ms. Franklin’s first big hit, was released in 1967. Ms. Franklin was crowned (onstage during a concert) Queen of Soul in 1968, and coincidentally, she was the same age Adele is now.
    Ms. Franklin wasn’t being intentionally shady, but this was low-key shade.

  31. Chile, leave my weave at the door and don’t steal it like those broke ass barb stans December 4, 2015

    I hate to say it, but some of what mother Aretha said was the absolute truth. I don’t see Adele achieving longevity, especially with how much she’s been selling consistently. Those type of artists usually crash, fall, and burn when the public is done supporting them. She should at least get to 100 million albums sold worldwide before that happens, though. I love her, but I just don’t think it’s realistic for her to still be here 25+ years later making music, especially when she doesn’t like touring.

  32. Theman December 4, 2015

    Marc is jealous of Mariah. You’re right though Rihanna is a studio vocalist. You are in no place to talk about real singers when you STAN for one that is least known for actual singing. Sit TF down.. Adele has three incredible albums. She has a huge fan base! She is incredibly gifted! Outside of her sales her albums are amazing! Aretha is a hater. All of those women are way more successful than her. And the most influential female vocalists are Mariah/Whitney.. Aretha is very callous & rude!

  33. MsYonce December 4, 2015

    I agree with her tbh

  34. Theman December 4, 2015

    When you have three back to back successful albums you are onto something.. Adele’s first album has sold over or around ten million copies! She is wildly successful..

  35. HailBeysus December 4, 2015

    Lets be honest tho. Adele has really only been in the public’s eye since 2011. The world literally paid her first album dust. It sold well on its own no doubt. But it also gained a hugh amount of attention with the success of 21. Much like it did with the success of 25. Both 21 and 19 shot back up on Billboard charts. She’s been in music since 08. But be real how many people actually knew her during the years of 08, 09 and 10? I still love Adele im just not blinded by her sales. She will become a legend eventually, just not right now.

  36. CSAZ December 4, 2015

    Jealousy is not pretty. Why a legend like her needs to care about the longevity of a young talented lady? She already said something like that on the 21 era and then she covered “Rolling In The Deep” so what? Adele is charting very well around the world and selling more and more in every step, no sign of decline but still there are people talking about her in a malicious way. One thing I agree with her : time will tell and it already tells a lot since many years now.

  37. boom! December 16, 2015

    Aretha is a has been and her cover of Rolling in the Deep is atrocious. Goodbye

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