Kathie Lee Apologizes For Saying Aretha is Too Old to Judge ‘Idol’

by | July 17, 2012 at 7:12 PM | American Idol, Celebrities, General, TV News

Hoda Kotb and Kathie Lee Gifford (NBC)


You don’t mess with Aretha Franklin.

A day after “Today’sKathie Lee Gifford and and Hoda Hotb stated that Franklin, who is 70, was not a good pick to judge “American Idol” due to her age, Franklin took issue and struck back.

Now, Gifford is apologizing for her comments.

“I need to apologize to a certain Miss Aretha apparently,” Gifford said before adding, “My point was that there’s a whole generation of kids who don’t know who Barbra Streisand is or Sinatra,” said Gifford on Wednesday morning. “They don’t know some of the greats who have come before. They only know who has been born in the last ten years.”

On Tuesday, Gifford originally noted that “If they are looking for a younger demographic, there are a lot of kids out there (who) actually don’t know who Aretha Franklin is. It’s sad, but they don’t.”

That prompted Franklin to send a letter to CNN, shooting down her assessment.

“While I enjoy Kathie Lee and Hoda daily, her assessment is totally wrong!” the 18-time-Grammy winner stated. “I’ve been to California from Detroit four times this year and Florida. I go wherever I choose to go comfortably on my custom bus.”

Franklin went on to talk about her multi-generational appeal and take a little dig at Gifford.

“My audience and fans span the age of eight to 90! And are multi-ethnic, and I am very well known to young adults, tweens and teens. Their parents play my music and I take care of my business whenever I sign on the dotted line,” she wrote. “I’m surprised Kathie Lee did not research my worldwide celebrity audience! She’s usually right on top of things with a great sense of humor, but she’s totally wrong this time. She should research me before she speaks about me. I’m sure she thought she was right; still enjoy Hoda and Kathie Lee!”

Here’s the clip…