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Music aside, queen of soul is pumped for fair food

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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Carmel69Man July 29 2014 at 2:54 PM

she really needs to retire

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1 reply
roseyoungstewart Carmel69Man July 29 2014 at 8:06 PM

entertainers never retire look how old don rickles and regis philbin are. Joan Rivers too.Rodney Dangerfield started out writing jokes at age 15 and he finally died at age 82 when he was still on the stage making appearnaces. you need to see how alive or almost alive you will be when you hit 72.

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realdealnyc July 29 2014 at 3:20 PM

Food is the last thing she should be going after.

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rude July 29 2014 at 3:53 PM

Looks like she is actually the Queen of Soul FOOD.

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wjm4938 July 29 2014 at 4:22 PM

didn't the employee know that blacks are above the law?

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3 replies
bailey.willie July 29 2014 at 3:04 PM


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1 reply
roseyoungstewart bailey.willie July 29 2014 at 8:07 PM

disrespecting the food would be to not eat it. She respects the food.

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Tutu July 29 2014 at 7:03 PM

Just what she needs..grease, flour and sugar. I do hope that her personal behavior is better in Ohio then it was in Canada last week.

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1 reply
Joan Tutu July 29 2014 at 9:36 PM

Living here in Ohio, I certainly hope she keeps her mouth shut, in more ways than one.

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patriot1too July 29 2014 at 5:10 PM

We never knew she was one of those victim wannabe race card playing scam artist that milks the system for any thing to play offended over. Shame on her. We no longer see her as what we thought she was. Now its just another thug woman looking for something she should not get based just on race. We have seen too much of that racism in America by people like her.

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FRED July 29 2014 at 5:09 PM

Does anyone think she paid for any of those items? Being so cheap and not paying her bills, I think she can find some other way to still people. She sings like she looks, awful. She murders songs.

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1 reply
roseyoungstewart FRED July 29 2014 at 8:11 PM

aretha franklin's net worth is $60 million. How much is your net worth?

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1 reply
home roseyoungstewart July 30 2014 at 2:01 AM

Maybe she should use some of that money to learn a few things,,, STARTING WITH R-E-S-P-E-C-T ! Used to love her music,, no more. I wouldn't cross the street to see or hear her

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zjk2 July 29 2014 at 4:57 PM

this her last try for the cash , then they take her back to the cow farm where she can graze till that big burger in the sky takes her

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LyMartin July 29 2014 at 7:00 PM

How about a SALAD!!!

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