A History Of Aretha Franklin’s Feud With Dionne Warwick
You may recall Aretha Franklin sent a fax out about a week ago detailing her issues with Dionne Warwick extend from her being “lied on” during Whitney Houston’s funeral, but several music industry insiders are now weighing in with more insight to the diva’s issues.
According to Page Six:
“A great deal of what is taking place is just jealousy” on Franklin’s part, according to a longtime music-industry figure who knows both players. “It’s all about Aretha.”
The outlet goes on to describe how the rivalry was born in the 1960’s when Franklin was reigning on the charts with songs like “I Never Loved a Man (the Way I Love You)” and “Chain of Fools.” Meanwhile, Warwick was also flourishing thanks to her collaborations with Burt Bacharach, including “Walk On By” and “Do You Know the Way to San Jose.”
But Auntie Aretha definitely made the first Petty Betty move by covering Warwick’s 1967 hit “I Say a Little Prayer.” Among her backup singers was Cissy Houston, Warwick’s own aunt. The Franklin version landed in the top 10 on R&B and Pop charts. The extra punch to Warwick’s gut was when Bacharach (who wrote the song for Dionne) publicly proclaimed Aretha’s cover, “Much better than the cut I did with Dionne.”
Still, according to Warwick’s rep Angelo Ellerbee, Warwick has never had issues with Franklin:
“Dionne has always spoken favorably about this lady.”
Ain’t it crazy how somebody you ain’t even mad at can be mad at you?
After Franklin’s career hit a dry spell in the late 70’s, music mogul Clive Davis signed Aretha to Arista Records in 1982. She would soon deliver her 1985 platinum album “Who’s Zoomin’ Who?” But Franklin STILL wasn’t happy because Dionne Warwick was also on Arista!
“The [lingering] tension has something to do with the fact that Clive had [signed] both artists,” said magazine publisher Cynthia Horner, who has known Franklin since 1977. “Aretha became his favorite, but Dionne was still connected to Clive.”
Franklin had bigger problems on the horizon though. Davis had also signed Whitney Houston. Y’all remember young Whitney? With the incredible pipes, model good looks and youth on her side. She was 21 years younger than Franklin AND Dionne Warwick’s first cousin. Not to mention, Clive Davis was more than a little bit excited about his newest star in the making.
Davis arranged for Aretha to do a duet with Whitney, and while the elder diva did it, she couldon’t help taking a few digs at Houston.
“She said that Whitney lacked her wisdom and maturity as a recording artist, but I just think Aretha was nervous about being out-sung by someone from the next generation,” Franklin’s late agent Ruth Bowen, once said.
Fast forward to her comments about missing Houston’s funeral last week, where she brought up plenty mess:
“There [had] been so much going on around [Houston] . . . around the drugs, around her and Bobby [Brown] supposed to be fighting . . . I didn’t want to be a part of that.”
The music-industry insider said there’s more to it than that.
“If Aretha was at the funeral, there would have been no limelight on her. And that’s the problem. Aretha doesn’t want to be forgotten.”
SMH. Damn shame that you can be so accomplished and still INSECURE. If this doesn’t speak volumes about the demons unleashed by the music industry!!!
As we’ve told you before Warwick and Houston aren’t the only divas to have felt Aretha’s wrath. Her list of alleged run-ins includes encounters with Patti LaBelle, Diana Ross, Roberta Flack, Natalie Cole and Gladys Knight, who said Franklin once ignored her backstage at the Grammys, walking past Knight as if she didn’t exist.
“Aretha’s always had problems with her female contemporaries,” her sister Erma Franklin told David Ritz, author of “Respect: The Life of Aretha Franklin,” a 2014 biography. “Her fantasy is to eliminate the competition.”
SMH. We love you ReRe but that’s just ridiculous. Take a hint from Kendrick Lamar. Be Humble. Sit Down. And stop beefing with Dionne Warwick!