Music aside, queen of soul is pumped for fair food

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Music aside, queen of soul is pumped for fair food
This image provided by RCA Records shows the cover for Aretha Franklin's new CD of diva classics due to be released Oct. 21, 2014. (AP Photo/RCA Records)
THE ANDY WILLIAMS SHOW -- Aired 5/4/69 -- Pictured: Aretha Franklin (Photo by Fred A. Sabine/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
THE ANDY WILLIAMS SHOW -- Aired 5/4/69 -- Pictured: Aretha Franklin (Photo by Fred A. Sabine/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
NEW YORK CITY - MARCH 1: Musicians Yoko Ono, John Lennon and Aretha Franklin attending 17th Annual Grammy Awards on March 1, 1975 at the Uris Theater in New York City, New York. (Photo by Ron Galella/WireImage)
THE ANDY WILLIAMS SHOW -- Aired 5/4/69 -- Pictured: Aretha Franklin (Photo by Fred A. Sabine/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
CIRCA 1967: The 'Queen of Soul' Aretha Franklin poses for a portrait with circa 1967. (Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)
CIRCA 1965: Soul singer Aretha Franklin poses for a portrait in circa 1965. (Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)
NEW YORK - CIRCA 1964: Soul singer Aretha Franklin poses for a portrait circa 1964 in New York city, New York. (Photo by James Kriegsmann/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)
UNSPECIFIED - JANUARY 01: Photo of Aretha FRANKLIN; Posed portrait of Aretha Franklin, (Photo by RB/Redferns)
AUGUST 7: Soul singer Aretha Franklin records in the studio on August 7, 1968. (Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)
UNITED KINGDOM - JANUARY 01: HAMMERSMITH ODEON Photo of Aretha FRANKLIN, performing live onstage. (Photo by David Redfern/Redferns)
American soul singer Aretha Franklin dancing for the cameras. (Photo by Express Newspapers/Getty Images)
CIRCA 1968: Soul singer Aretha Franklin performs onstage in circa 1968. (Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)
NEW YORK - JANUARY 09: Soul singer Aretha Franklin sings in the Atlantic Records studio in during 'The Weight' recording sesssion on January 9, 1969 in New York City, New York. (Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)
CIRCA 1969: Soul singer Aretha Franklin performs onstage in circa 1969. (Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)
Aretha Franklin performs on BBC TV show 'It's Lulu', London, August 1970. (Photo by David Redfern/Redferns)
UNITED KINGDOM - JANUARY 01: TOP OF THE POPS Photo of Aretha FRANKLIN (Photo by Ron Howard/Redferns)
NEW YORK CITY - MARCH 1: Musicians Bill Medley and Bobby Hatfield of The Righteous Brothers and singer Aretha Franklin attend 17th Annual Grammy Awards on March 1, 1975 at the Uris Theater in New York City. (Photo by Ron Galella/WireImage)
NEW YORK CITY - MARCH 1: (L-R) Musicians Art Garfunkel, Paul Simon, Yoko Ono, John Lennon and Aretha Franklin attending 17th Annual Grammy Awards on March 1, 1975 at the Uris Theater in New York City, New York. (Photo by Ron Galella/WireImage)
CIRCA 1973: Soul singer Aretha Franklin poses for a portrait lying on a couch in circa 1973. (Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)
Aretha Franklin poses for a studio portrait in 1977 in the United States. (Photo by Gilles Petard/Redferns)
Singer Aretha Franklin performing. (Photo by David Mcgough/DMI/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - AUGUST 01: Aretha Franklin (Photo by The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - AUGUST 01: Aretha Franklin (Photo by The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images)
Aretha Franklin during The 40th Annual GRAMMY Awards - Arista Records Pre-GRAMMY Party at Beverly Hills Hotel in New York City, New York, United States. (Photo by Ron Galella, Ltd./WireImage)
Aretha Franklin and Mary J. Blige performing on the 'VH1 Divas Live: The One and Only Aretha Franklin' at Radio City Music Hall in New York City, 4/9/01. The show airs live on VH1 on Tuesday, April 11, 2001 at 9:00PM EST. Photo by Scott Gries/ImageDirect.
FILE - In a Thursday, May 29, 2014 file photo, singer Aretha Franklin looks up while seated on stage during Harvard University commencement ceremonies, in Cambridge, Mass., where she was presented with an honorary Doctor of Arts degree. Franklin has some harsh words for a New York server at a at a Johnny Rockets restaurant in Lewiston near Buffalo who told the Queen of Soul she wasn’t allowed to eat her takeout inside the restaurant. A spokesman for Franklin says on Tuesday, July 22, Franklin ordered a hamburger after performing a sold-out show. But he says the server screamed at Franklin, saying she couldn’t sit down to eat because she had ordered takeout. A Johnny Rockets spokeswoman says the franchise owner is sorry for the actions of “a new and very young employee.” (AP Photo/Steven Senne, File)
Aretha Franklin waves to graduates at a New York University graduation ceremony Wednesday, May 21, 2014, at Yankee Stadium in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)
Singer Aretha Franklin, left, is presented with an honorary Doctor of Arts degree by Vice President and Secretary of Harvard University Marc Goodheart, right, during Harvard commencement ceremonies, Thursday, May 29, 2014, in Cambridge, Mass. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)
Aretha Franklin and her son Kecalf Cunningham attend her 72nd birthday celebration on Sunday, March 23, 2014 in New York. (Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP)
FILE - In this Dec. 6, 2013 file photo, entertainer Aretha Franklin sings at the National Christmas Tree lighting ceremony across from the White House in Washington. The legendary singer Franklin and Motown founder Berry Gordy will be honored at the 2014 BET Honors. The network announced Thursday, Jan. 16, 2014, that rapper-actor Ice Cube, American Express CEO Ken Chenault and photographer and video artist Carrie Mae Weems will also receive tributes at the event. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak, File)
Singer Aretha Franklin performs at the Fashion Group International's 30th annual "Night Of Stars" awards gala at Cipriani's Wall Street on Tuesday, Oct. 22, 2013 in New York. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)
Aretha Franklin performs during McDonald's Gospelfest 2013 at the Prudential Center on Saturday, May 11, 2013 in Newark, NJ. (Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP)
Singer Aretha Franklin arrives at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts for the 2012 Kennedy Center Honors Performance and Gala Sunday, Dec. 2, 2012 at the State Department in Washington. (AP Photo/Kevin Wolf)
FILE - This July 25, 2012 file photo shows Aretha Franklin performing at the NOKIA Theatre L.A. LIVE in Los Angeles. Franklin has been inducted into the GMA Gospel Music Hall of Fame along with country and bluegrass star Ricky Skaggs, singer-songwriter Dallas Holm, family group The Hoppers, the late televangelist Rex Humbard and Christian rockers Love Song. Franklin couldn't attend the induction at Trinity Music City in Hendersonville, Tenn., but sent a video message played during the ceremony. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP, file)
Aretha Franklin performs at the Essence Music Festival in New Orleans on Sunday, July 8, 2012. (Photo by Cheryl Gerber/Invision/AP)
Record producer Clive Davis and singer Aretha Franklin attend the Revlon Concert for the Rainforest Fund dinner and auction at The Pierre Hotel on Tuesday, April 3, 2012 in New York. (AP Photo/Evan Agostini)
Aretha Franklin attends her seventieth birthday party in New York, Saturday, March 24, 2012. (AP Photo/Charles Sykes)
WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 08: Aretha Franklin performs onstage at BET Honors 2014 at Warner Theatre on February 8, 2014 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Larry French/BET/Getty Images for BET)
WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 08: Aretha Franklin performs onstage at BET Honors 2014 at Warner Theatre on February 8, 2014 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Kris Connor/BET/Getty Images for BET)
WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 08: Aretha Franklin speaks onstage at BET Honors 2014 at Warner Theatre on February 8, 2014 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Kris Connor/BET/Getty Images for BET)
WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 08: Singer Aretha Franklin attends BET Honors 2014 at Warner Theatre on February 8, 2014 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Paras Griffin/WireImage)
WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 08: (L-R) Angelika Beene, singer Aretha Franklin, and pianist Robert Glasper attend the BET Honors 2014 red carpet presented by Lexus at Warner Theatre on February 8, 2014 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Bennett Raglin/BET/Getty Images for BET)
Aretha Franklin and William Wilkerson arrive to the TV Land Awards 10th Anniversary in New York, Saturday, April 14, 2012. (AP Photo/Charles Sykes)
Aretha Franklin performs before being honored during the TV Land Awards, Saturday, April 14, 2012 in New York. (AP Photo/Jason DeCrow)
Singer Aretha Franklin, center, arrives at a reception hosted by President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama in honor of the 2012 Kennedy Center Honors recipients, in the East Room of the White House in Washington, Sunday, Dec. 2, 2012. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)
Aretha Franklin sings during a funeral service for the late famed boxing trainer Emanuel Steward at the Greater Grace Temple in Detroit, Tuesday, Nov. 13, 2012. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)
AUSTIN, TX - SEPTEMBER 03: Singer Aretha Franklin performs in concert at ACL Live on September 3, 2014 in Austin, Texas. (Photo by Rick Kern/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 14: Aretha Franklin performs at Radio City Music Hall on June 14, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Noam Galai/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 22: A view of atmosphere at Aretha Franklin's 72nd Birthday Celebration on March 22, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Cindy Ord/FilmMagic)
NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 22: (L-R) Music executive Clive Davis, William Wilkerson, singer Aretha Franklin and actor Denzel Washington attend Aretha Franklin's 72nd Birthday Celebration at the Ritz Carlton on March 22, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by J. Countess/Getty Images)
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COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - There's something beyond delivering a set packed with her hits that's got Aretha Franklin jazzed about fair season: the food.

Ahead of her Thursday performance at the Ohio State Fair, the Queen of Soul says she's eager to track down some elephant ears, a fair staple of fried dough sprinkled with powdered sugar.

"I'm looking forward to it," she says. "I love the state fair, and I love the elephant ears."

There may be plenty of opportunities for fried treats ahead, given that her busy 2014 tour also includes performances at the Wisconsin and Minnesota state fairs in August.

Franklin says her Columbus performance will be packed with familiar songs, selections from an upcoming CD being produced by Babyface and Andre 3000, and "a few surprises; I love surprises."

"We're going to have a rock 'em, sock 'em good time," she says.

After some health issues, the R&B diva says she's feeling as good as she did in her 50s but prefers not to focus on how far past 50 she is now.

"I am certainly old enough to be out after midnight," the 72-year-old star says. "Age is just a number."

She says she's planning a vacation to New York after her Wisconsin gig, including a stop at the U.S. Open. She also is taking French lessons and studying classical piano with a Julliard graduate.

"I always wanted to go to Juilliard, but my schedule was so heavy at that time that it just never allowed me the time to go there for long enough to learn something," she says. "So what I did was I got a teacher who was a graduate and teacher to come to me."

Franklin says she has begun to hear the classical training in her style and inflections and expects audiences will, too. She aspires to be as good as legendary classical pianist Vladimir Horowitz or jazz greats Art Tatum or Oscar Peterson.

"That is the level I want to be playing at," she says. "That's the lifetime level."

Her upcoming recording doesn't have a name yet, but Franklin says she's six tracks and five vocals into it. She expects to finish the final three cuts in August.

It features R&B classics such as "Midnight Train to Georgia," ''What's Love Got To Do With It," Donna Summer's disco classic "Last Dance" and Alicia Keys' "Fallin'."
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