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Aretha Franklin is Every Older Black Woman at the Kennedy Center Honors

Last night was the airing of the 2015 Kennedy Center Honors, saluting Rita Moreno, George Lucas, Cicely Tyson, Seiji Ozawa and Carole King.

Aretha Franklin performed “Natural Woman” to a standing ovation to honor Carole. President Obama and FLOTUS Shellie were getting their entire good times because the Queen of Soul can’t help but slay. She even moved Barack to tears. She is legend and she has been on more stages than she can count. She can literally do this and leave everyone hollering IN HER SLEEP.

First, watch the clip.

SANGGGGGGGGGGGG!!! Whew. This woman would make you take your wig and prostrate at the altar with these notes!

But that good mink she had on? COME THROUGH, RETHA MAE! That full-length “I’ve earned this luxury” mink is old Black lady version of a Rolex. I bet you she got a matching hat. She ended up leaving the coat on stage when the SQUALL got really good, though. Honestly, I think she wore that fur to sing because she ain’t wanna leave it with folks who were in the back.

Similarly, she ain’t leave her pocketbook backstage either. Fuck what you heard and fuck whatever tight security y’all thought you had. Miss Retha was like “I’m taking my purse with me. I don’t know none of y’all or your mamas so I got nothing to vouch for you.” I feel you, boo! She was not giving folks any opportunity to jack her for her stuff. Stay vigilant, girl.



And Team Natural? NO MA’AM. Miss Aretha gon get this monthly relaxer and this roller set. Her 45-year standing appointment with her hairstylist (who I imagine is named Carla. Aretha is probably one of her kids’ godmothers) ain’t changing because everyone wants to embrace the nappy. I bet all my dereon dollars that she still uses Pink Oil Moisturizer, because if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

Carla gon slick these edges down with a touchup and then put her under that hot dryer in those orange plastic rollers. After 45 minutes, she’ll use the 5 metal springs on the bottom of that comb to fluff it out when it’s good and dry. Finish it with that Pump it Up spray so even the treacherous winds of Galilee couldn’t move them curls. Aretha ain’t new to this. She’s TRUE to this. My Mama had this same hairstyle in 1988.

Chile, Ms. Franklin got my R-E-S-P-E-C-T forever, even though she won’t ever leave those spaghetti strap dresses alone. SHE CAN DO THAT. She can break any fashion rule she wants. She’s earned it and ain’t nobody gon check her.

Loves it gif

Love her!

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  1. December 30, 2015 at 12:11 pm

    What you WON’T do on this herr TA-DAY Miss Luvvie, is have me ret to THOW (yes, thow) my shoes at my computer screen in this herr office!
    Da White man paying me GOODT monties to be herr working on NYE Eve, & I need my coin!
    Auntie ReeRee SLAYS. Then, now, & FOREVAH.

    • Christine
      January 1, 2016 at 8:46 am

      I’m an old white woman and, sweet jeesus, no one, NO ONE can sing like Ms. Franklin!

  2. Carla
    December 30, 2015 at 12:52 pm

    Why her hairdresser (cuz I don’t believe Auntie ReRe ain’t going to no high falutin’ stylist) gotta be named Carla? Why not Rachel or Felicia or anything besides Carla?

    And I ain’t mad at her for holding on to her purse and her fur. Folks be walking away with people’s stuff and talking ’bout “oops, my bad. I have one just like that.” Besides, Auntie pr’lly made ’em pay her in cash so that she could avoid the tax….. neva mind. Hold onto your coins Queen.

    Signed, Carla

    • MissusMax
      December 30, 2015 at 5:19 pm

      C’mon, Name Twin, now you know it’s an honor to be Carla in the first place (c-arla, not that misspelled k-arla) and I just knowed Miss Carla’s House of the Hard Press & Curl keeps Mama ReRe laidt real good, with that poster on the wall of hairstyles back from 1989, the tv perpetually turned to some good daytime tv, talmbout how Steve Harvey could still get it, the sock/cd/DVDs man rollin through on the regular, and where they send whoever is the youngest person there on the fish plate run!

      Signed, Also Carla

      • Carla
        December 30, 2015 at 8:17 pm

        Yes, Carla is a renaissance woman and jane of ALL trades. But Karla? Who is that? I don’t her.

        Carla (as well)

        • Another Carla
          December 31, 2015 at 2:45 am

          OK Miss Luvvie got ta know she gon have all the Carlas coming for her behind this! But Imma let her slide ’cause this right here gave me LIFE! And I’m not sure Miss Carla used Pink Oil Moisturizer on Retha Mae’s hair–I suspect it was that jar of blue Ultra Sheen.

      • TB
        January 2, 2016 at 2:12 pm


  3. Micha
    December 30, 2015 at 1:01 pm

    Am I the only one who watched that clip 2x? Baby, Ms. Aretha brought the house to its feet when the fox hit the floor. Lawd…she gave that song soul. I’m talking in the kitchen with a pot of greens on the stove. Side note: I thought Carole King was gon pass out when Aretha sat down at the piano though!

    • Tinkaaaa
      December 30, 2015 at 1:48 pm

      I watched it thrice, Queen Aretha had me screaming and throwing all my valuables at the screen. She can have it all.

  4. la mala
    December 30, 2015 at 1:01 pm

    Thank you for sharing this. Damn near made me cry at work. Like they don’t already think I’m crazy ????

  5. circa1908
    December 30, 2015 at 1:22 pm

    I stayed saying this all day. She aint care that the secret service was in the building that fox she wore wasn’t staying in the green room. NO MA’AM.

    She came up on that stage like, Im just rolling through to sing this here song and I am rolling out, aint got time to take off my coat and I don’t give a damn who dont like it. kiss my feeling like a natural woman black ass.

    Let me put my purse on top this piano so I know where it is (just in case I need me one of them pinwheel mints).

    • notconvincedgranny
      December 30, 2015 at 1:59 pm

      Not the mints!

  6. Nicole
    December 30, 2015 at 1:32 pm

    I thought for a second folks weren’t gonna stand up for the Queen. I just had church at my desk at work watching this.

    • Joseph bostick
      May 9, 2016 at 9:33 pm

      Nicole Franklin even in concert will have you shouting and that’s a great feeling . And her hair stylist name is Carlton not Carla folks need to Respect and not be Shady especially silly make wanna be queens . They don’t know nothing but cheap drama . And how to kill a moment .

  7. A McGee
    December 30, 2015 at 1:33 pm

    Yes. Ma’am.

  8. Ell Eye Zee
    December 30, 2015 at 1:41 pm

    “Finish it with that Pump it Up spray so even the treacherous winds of Galilee couldn’t move them curls.” Yas.

    But am I the only one who thinks she looks like she is wearing a fur robe over her good nightgown? Scroll up, and then tell me if I’m lying.

    • bawlmergirl
      December 30, 2015 at 2:39 pm

      Nah – you ain’t lyin’… I understand from the KenCen Honors reviews that Ree-Ree actually momentarily knighted (damed in the case of a woman?) Carole and declared that the honoree could be Queen … for THAT day. Will somebody please tell R.R. that there are some beautiful gowns with SLEEVES? ALL HAIL THE QUEEN!

  9. Ebony
    December 30, 2015 at 1:56 pm

    I’m thinking she arrived late (CP time?) and had to rush right past the coat check line, but like a true DIVA she made it work. Go ahead, Mother Aretha!

  10. notconvincedgranny
    December 30, 2015 at 1:59 pm

    The Original Ri-Ri wore that coat like James Brown wore that cape – it’s coming off when the getting gets good. I wish I would write a song and have Aretha sing it while teasing the ivories. I’d have fallen over that railing in rapture. Now excuse me, I have to collect my belongings.

    (Side note: I see Cissy Houston was NOT singing backup. Disaster averted; mission accomplished.)

    • D Mayo Johnson
      December 31, 2015 at 10:19 am

      Cissy woulda been up there w/a twisted mouth and arms folded up to her ear lobes. You know she called Dionne & they ran her down “hood” fashion!

  11. Naomi
    December 30, 2015 at 2:14 pm

    I got my entire life and then some from that clip. Carole could not sit still. Yasss Queen of Soul!!

  12. MellyTWelly
    December 30, 2015 at 2:31 pm

    Cissy wasn’t singing in the background this time. Whomp.

    • Annette
      December 30, 2015 at 3:04 pm

      Yep, hate to say it but my first thought was the Cissy meme..lol

  13. laveece
    December 30, 2015 at 2:32 pm

    Aretha #kennedycenterhonors! #NaturalWoman. She brought her good fur coat & gold pocketbook out on that stage & Slaaaaayed! #STILLQUEEN!

  14. Motown Mama
    December 30, 2015 at 2:40 pm


    First, let’s get it straight, it was a MINK, not a fox. And, there IS a difference.

    Miss Aretha is straight-up DETROIT with her full-length fur. Come to the D and go to any semi-nice affair, including daytime weddings and funerals, during the colder months (not just cold, colder will do), and every sister who can will be rocking her fur. This includes any sister over 30 years old. It’s just a Detroit thing. Honestly, you’re likely to see the bros rocking theirs too!

    Go on, Re-re! We see you!

    • notconvincedgranny
      December 30, 2015 at 2:52 pm

      Of course it’s a mink. No self-respecting Mother of the Church would be in a training fur like fox. Even in California. And judging from the style, this was her coronation mink.

    • December 30, 2015 at 5:31 pm

      As a Detroiter, I can vouch for this. My mom bought me my first fur jacket when I was 17. I rocked that poor thing until its second death and nobody couldn’t tell me nothing either!

      • Janelfelice
        December 30, 2015 at 10:09 pm

        Auntie Re-Re was not going to let her Dittrich fur laying around for some random PETA member to get it. You know so-called “animal activist’ in DC are crazy!

  15. Shannyn
    December 30, 2015 at 2:52 pm

    Mz Carole wrote that song in 1967 and the delight on her face when Aretha sang the first notes was tear worthy. Sister Rea painted the whole White House Black and timed that Mink Fling Perfectly-the slay was EPIC.

    • mobaygurl
      December 30, 2015 at 6:48 pm

      The lyrics are incredible but the feeling Auntie ReRe brings to the song is and has always been unmatched live & on vinyl. It was heartwarming to see Carole King’s reaction – Auntie don’t play on the piano for errybody.
      And Mr. Chin behind the Obamas was fklempt just like me. He got the moment

  16. Annette
    December 30, 2015 at 3:07 pm

    This song gets me crying every time Aretha sings it. Is so rare now a days to see performers connect with people hearts.

  17. December 30, 2015 at 3:40 pm

    LUVVIE!!! Pink oil moisturizer? Old Black lady’s version of a Rolex???

    I am SO unable right now!!! ????????????

  18. Ms Coco
    December 30, 2015 at 4:14 pm

    First off…All hail the Queen. She has always been and forever will be Ours. That said, y’all know the secret service can’t even keep random trespassers off the White House lawn. Why would Queen Re-Ree trust them with her pocketbook or coronation fur? Second, Aunt Cissy showed her natural shade face last time, so she’s in the time-out corner. Finally, the Queen ain’t leaving home talmbout performing nowhere without her forearms and cleavage on display and her pin-curls on fleek. That is who she is. Stahp acting like y’all brand new!

    • toekneetoni
      December 30, 2015 at 6:42 pm

      LOL @MsCoco u right on all points

  19. YvMarie
    December 30, 2015 at 7:38 pm

    Queen Retha brought the house down!! Just like old times. Did anyone see Viola Davis jumping up and down in homage?

  20. Brenda Verner
    December 30, 2015 at 7:58 pm

    Why can’t we say totally positive things about Aretha Franklin, and what occurred last night without any left handed references to colloquial cultural nuances. Here’s how it could read:

    Aretha Franklin was magnificent last night at the Kennedy Center Awards. She reminded us of why she is called The Queen of Soul.
    Her talent is so stellar that a great songwriter like Carol King was overwhelmed with joy and awe, at witnessing Aretha at the piano playing and singing the song that she penned, which has become the American woman’s anthem.

    In her 70’s, Aretha Franklin’s voice is as strong today, as it was when she first recorded Natural Woman and rocked the world.

    The Queen took to the stage in her royal furs and an embroidered beige gown that appropriately has a royal train. And just like Queen Elizabeth who is never seen without her handbag, Aretha brought her designer handbag, accompanied by her unmatched talent center stage. All singers sat in Aretha’s shade last night. Her performance brought tears to the eyes of the elites and the audience gave her a standing ovation in recognition of this most notable occasion.

    Aretha Franklin showed the world last night, why she most deservedly wears the crown and has earned the title The Queen.
    Long live The Queen!

    • dallasdrummerchick
      December 31, 2015 at 11:29 pm

      …you’re new here, aren’t you?

      • TB
        January 2, 2016 at 2:10 pm

        and perhaps this could be her only reply? EVER.

  21. Lauren
    December 30, 2015 at 8:12 pm

    Because Brenda, what you did was just give a factual account. Miss Luvvie told the truth, gave us some cultural and historical perspective AND entertained the hell out of us!

    • D Mayo Johnson
      December 31, 2015 at 10:25 am

      Save me a seat on your pew!

  22. SIPort
    December 30, 2015 at 8:57 pm

    When she stepped onto the stage in her fur and clutching the purse…


    Then, she sat down at the piano and began playing as if it were an extension of her body.

    Ms. Franklin broke it down.

    When she chucked the full-length fur to finish up the song……

    There will never be another Aretha Franklin.

  23. karen
    December 30, 2015 at 11:16 pm

    She never leaves her pocketbook ANYWHERE. It’s always with her.

  24. sissimpson
    December 31, 2015 at 1:56 am

    See, if y’all REALLY knew Ms Franklin, you would know her in the Spirit in the Dark days with her AFRO!

  25. hlg3
    December 31, 2015 at 6:57 am

    Y’all know Miss Ree had to come correct and she wasn’t going onstage without the complete ensemble which included the purse and fur. I don’t think the PETA people was happy with the mink, but y’all done know Ree will wear what she wants to wear…

  26. Diva
    December 31, 2015 at 3:39 pm

    Ok, was I the only one that peeped the Asian on the verge of tears? Like he used to stand in the mirror as a boy wishing he was a natural woman. Race & sex be damned, Mother Franklin was singing his soul too.

  27. jcanwisegrrl
    January 1, 2016 at 1:47 pm

    LISSEN! Between Carole King, Viola Davis and Gina Rodriguez, somebody caught the spirit up in that place! Carole didn’t even know what to do with herself. The admiration was so beautiful to watch. Me? I’da run down those steps and all up and through the venue like it was CHUUUUUCH and the spirit was moving. I’da been jumping and shouting just like. Whew!

  28. howlingbanshee
    January 5, 2016 at 8:34 am

    Thanks for bringing this to my attention. That was truly soul stirring.