Skip to main content

Queen of Soul expresses interest in joining 'American Idol'

By Roland S. Martin, CNN Contributor
updated 10:14 AM EDT, Sun July 15, 2012
Aretha Franklin told CNN she has long been a fan of
Aretha Franklin told CNN she has long been a fan of "American Idol" and is interested in being a judge on the show.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Aretha Franklin tells CNN she is interested in joining "American Idol" as a judge
  • Steven Tyler and Jennifer Lopez announced this week they are leaving the show
  • Fox declined to comment about Franklin

(CNN) -- "American Idol" lost two stars this week when judges Steven Tyler and Jennifer Lopez announced they would not be returning next season, but the hit Fox show could gain itself The Queen.

Aretha Franklin, an 18-time Grammy Award winner who Rolling Stone proclaimed the greatest female singer of all time, told CNN in an e-mail Saturday that she is interested in joining the show as a judge.

Randy Jackson is leaving "American Idol" after 12 years as a judge, and he might not be the only one. But who should take his place? Harry Connick Jr. has been a mentor on "Idol," but does he have what it takes to be a regular judge? Even he's not so sure. As he recently told Ellen DeGeneres, "I had a good time mentoring. Judging is a whole different deal," he said. "I don't know how good I would be at that." Here are some of our other suggestions: Randy Jackson is leaving "American Idol" after 12 years as a judge, and he might not be the only one. But who should take his place? Harry Connick Jr. has been a mentor on "Idol," but does he have what it takes to be a regular judge? Even he's not so sure. As he recently told Ellen DeGeneres, "I had a good time mentoring. Judging is a whole different deal," he said. "I don't know how good I would be at that." Here are some of our other suggestions:
Our picks for the next 'American Idol' judges
HIDE CAPTION
<<
<
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
>
>>
Our picks for the next \'American Idol\' judge Our picks for the next 'American Idol' judge
Steven Tyler and J.Lo leave 'Idol'
Could Adam Lambert be next 'Idol' judge?

Franklin, 70, who wowed the Essence Music Festival crowd last week in New Orleans and is now performing in Las Vegas, says she has long been a fan of the show. Now instead of watching it with the rest of America, she's ready to play a vital role in choosing the next "American Idol."

And as the Queen of Soul would do, she's already thinking about bringing along a sidekick: songstress Patti LaBelle.

Fox declined to comment on Franklin on Saturday night.

The addition of Franklin could help Fox stop the ratings slide of "Idol," which saw it lose its spot as the top show of the year to NBC's "Sunday Night Football."

The addition of similar singing contests to primetime television has increased the competition for viewers.

Fox's "The X Factor" recently added pop star Britney Spears after booting former "Idol" judge Paula Abdul and Nicole Scherzinger of the Pussycat Dolls. NBC's "The Voice" -- "Idol's" closest competitor -- has gained ground with judges Cee Lo Green, Adam Levine, Christina Aguilera, and Blake Shelton.

CNN's Jack Hannah contributed to this report.

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT