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February 1, 2015

What Black History Month Should Be

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Though Halle Berry is Not Interested, Aretha Franklin Holds Firm on Wish For Actress To Portray Her In Biopic

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Halle Berry is a busy woman these days, but the Oscar winner told reporters on the Golden Globes Awards red carpet last week that there was one role she wasn't so eager to play -- Aretha Franklin.

As previously reported, the celebrated actress said, "If I could carry a tune, I'd consider it," before adding, "someone should tell Aretha I can't do her justice."

Despite Berry's outright disinterest, Franklin is still letting it be known that she wants the 'Frankie and Alice' star to play the lead in her movie.

"I would have liked Halle Berry to portray the older Aretha in the upcoming biopic of my life based on my memoir, 'Aretha: From These Roots.' She was my first, but not my only choice," the 68-year-old soul Grammy Award-winning music icon said in an exclusive statement to 'The Wendy Williams Show.'

Berry previously won acclaim for her star turn in the biopic 'Introducing Dorothy Dandridge,' a role for which she did not have to sing. Franklin believes that Berry could pull off playing her without actually singing, as well.

"I never expected Halle Berry to sing; she's an actress, not a singer. Many actors have portrayed vocalists by lip-syncing to the artist's original recordings," Franklin revealed.

Should Berry not be swayed to sign on for the project, producers are now ready to entertain offers from other actresses.

"Everything is subject to negotiation and she shouldn't underestimate her own talent. There are a number of other leading ladies out there that can definitely handle the role," Franklin added.

A few weeks back, Franklin gave her first televised phone interview since undergoing surgery to Wendy Williams' syndicated television show. The former radio jock and New York Times best-selling author made her own suggestions for who should take on the Grammy Award winner.

"Well Ms. Franklin, while Halle Berry is a wonderful actress and a nice lady, I'm still rooting for you to just take a peek at casting Jennifer Hudson as you," Williams said.

Other possible castings could include Queen Latifah, Fantasia, Karen Clark Sheard or Tisha Campbell-Martin.

Franklin is currently recovering from a serious medical condition, which she recently confirmed is not pancreatic cancer. She plans to reschedule last year's canceled concert tour dates later this year.





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Her Royal Highness

After recording a string of jazz and blues projects for Columbia Records, Memphis born songstress Aretha Franklin landed at Atlantic Records in 1966. "They made me sit down on the piano and the hits came," she later said about her legacy there.

Her Royal Highness

Aretha Franklin performing during a Martin Luther King Benefit at Madison Square Garden in New York City, New York on June 28, 1968.

Her Royal Highness

Aretha Franklin with 'Soul Train' creator Don Cornelius. Franklin was one of many entertainers who performed on the long-running show during its 1970s heyday.

Her Royal Highness

Aretha Franklin rehearsing for Inaugural Eve program for newly elected US President Jimmy Carter and Vice President Walter Mondale at the Kennedy Center in 1977.

Her Royal Highness

Flanked in fur, Aretha Franklin in the press room at the Grammy Awards, circa early 1980s.

Her Royal Highness

Aretha Franklin performing in Chicago on April 18, 1985.

Her Royal Highness

Aretha Franklin, pictured here with Atlantic Records chairman Ahmet Ertegun (circa early 1990s), at a private music industry party.

Her Royal Highness

Aretha Franklin and Luciano Pavarotti are photographed at the 8th Annual Music Cares Gala in Honor of the famed opera singer. The event took place at New York City's posh Waldorf Astoria Hotel on February 23, 1998.

Her Royal Highness

Aretha Franklin held royal court during the broadcast of 'VH1 Divas Live' at the Beacon Theatre in New York City on April 14, 1998. During the show's finale a stirring rendition of her classic song, 'Natural Woman (You Make Me Feel),' The Queen of Soul is joined by Gloria Estefan, Mariah Carey, Carole King, Celine Dion and Shania Twain.

Her Royal Highness

On September 29, 1999, President Bill Clinton, along with First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton, awarded Aretha Franklin with the 1999 National Medal of Arts and Humanities Award at Constitution Hall in Washington, DC.

Her Royal Highness


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