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Aretha Franklin feels 'absolutely super' ahead of Grammy tribute

By Alan Duke, CNN
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Grammys to honor Aretha Franklin
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Sunday's Grammy show will include a musical "get-well card" for Franklin
  • Halle Berry bowed out of playing Franklin in a movie, the singer says
  • Fantasia Barrino and Jennifer Hudson are on Franklin's short list

Los Angeles (CNN) -- Aretha Franklin won't say much about her recent health troubles, but the Queen of Soul said in an interview with HLN on Tuesday that she's doing "very, very, well."

"I am feeling super, absolutely super, and doing very, very well," Franklin told "Showbiz Tonight's" AJ Hammer. "I cannot wait to get back on the bus and get out there."

Franklin also revealed details about casting for a movie about her life, saying that Halle Berry won't play her, but two singer-actresses are on the short list.

The legendary singer will get a "get-well card" Sunday, in the form of a musical tribute during the 53rd Annual Grammy Awards, said Ken Ehrlich, the show's executive producer.

"When you do a tribute to Aretha Franklin, you'd better get singers, because No. 1, she's watching, and No. 2, you just want to make it right," Ehrlich said.

The five performers who will take the Grammy stage to honor Franklin are Yolanda Adams, Christina Aguilera, Jennifer Hudson, Martina McBride and Florence Welch.

Showbiz Tonight Grammy preview

Franklin said Berry, an Oscar winner, turned down her suggestion to play Franklin in the movie about her life. Berry bowed out, saying she didn't have the voice for the role, Franklin said.

Franklin said Fantasia Barrino and Jennifer Hudson were on her list of singer-actresses to play her.

Barrino's manager confirmed that the 2004 "American Idol" winner was "in discussions" about the role. Barrino will begin filming a movie in May in which she portrays legendary gospel singer Mahalia Jackson, manager Brian Dickens said.

Hudson, an Oscar-winner who was a runner-up behind Barrino on "American Idol," told HLN's "Showbiz Tonight" she had met with Franklin a few years ago about the role and would be honored to be chosen.

CNN's Denise Quan contributed to this report.

 
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