Aretha Franklin Reveals André 3000 is Co-Producing her New Album
In an interview with Billboard, Aretha Franklin revealed that André Benjamin (aka André 3000 of Outkast) is co-producing her upcoming divas cover album. Benjamin will be stepping in for Don Was, who had to drop out due to schedule conflicts. “I’m pretty sure it’s going to be fun working with (André 3000), just watching his videos and things,” Franklin toldBillboard. “It should be fun. And, of course, they all come with great music, so I expect that.”
So far, five songs are completed, the sixth is in progress, and there are four more songs to go. The album is supposed to come out in September, which might be a tight squeeze, but Franklin insists that they’re on track. “Well, Clive [Davis] is concerned, but we’re on it,” Franklin toldBillboard. “We are ON it.” 2. She’s working with big names: In addition to working with André 3000, Franklin has a few other all-stars on her team. Davis is executive producing, and she’s been recording with Babyface and Daryl Simmons.
She’s covering huge hits: To date, Franklin has cut renditions of Gladys Knight & the Pips’ “Midnight Train to Georgia,” Barbra Streisand’s “People,” Donna Summer’s “Last Dance,” and Tina Turner’s “What’s Love Got to Do With It.” Next up is Adele’s modern hit “Rolling in the Deep.”
Something old, something new: As with most covers, Franklin will pay homage to the originals while also bringing her own musical style. “(The originals) are classic versions and we’re certainly aware of that, and we’re going to do them justice,” Franklin toldBillboard. “People are different, you know? What they did is not what I’m going to do, and what I’m gonna do is not what they did. That’s just what makes it different. You won’t be disappointed; we’re going to give you exactly what you’re expecting and what you’re not expecting.”
Sidebar: The original Ri Ri is going to bring it! I can't wait to hear these songs re-done the Aretha Franklin way. Who would have guessed years ago that Andre 3000 of Outkast would be producing Aretha Franklin, uh, drumroll, nobody! Hip Hop has come along way. This going to be something to hear.