Aretha Franklin: ‘I should have prerecorded inauguration song’

Queen of Soul to release new version of 'My Country 'Tis of Thee'

Aretha Franklin has said that she feels that she should have prerecorded her performance of ‘My Country ‘Tis of Thee’ for the inauguration of President Obama in January.

Franklin said she was not nervous, but “extremely cold” at the event, which concerned her as it had a negative effect on her voice.

“Everyone else prerecorded…I should have prerecorded! I didn’t even know they had prerecorded until I heard it on TV later” she told NPR.

Franklin said she was so thrilled to be asked to sing at the January 20 event that she had trouble sleeping for weeks.

“About three weeks prior to the inauguration I was told I’d be invited to sing at the swearing in. I couldn’t hardly sleep at night, I was jumping, so excited. I couldn’t hardly settle down after the first night or two. I’ve had many, many honours, but that was unparalleled I think. That can only happen one time in history.”

However, Franklin was so unhappy with her voice that day that she subsequently went into the studio to record the song.

“I just wasn’t happy with my performance that morning” she said. “I just rushed into the studio to do the commemorative, and 40 or 50 years from now people can play it for themselves.”

–By our New York staff.
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