Many were surprised when Aretha Franklin abruptly canceled her planned performance at Whitney Houston’s funeral services last weekend, citing difficulty with leg spasms as the reason she could not attend.
The soul legend’s absence led some to speculate that she had actually been disinvited from the services by Houston’s mother, Cissy Houston, after making some comments on “Today” following Whitney’s death that some have construed as a criticism of Cissy, according to Billboard.
“I think parents have to really talk to their children before they leave home … (that they) leave home prepared, really. She left home with all the right things,” Franklin told Al Roker last week.
Franklin, however, is now shooting down those claims in a statement to the Associated Press.
Cissy Houston and I have been longtime friends for almost 50 years. I have four invitations and parking passes that were sent to me for the funeral. Cissy does not need ridiculous speculation and neither do I – particularly at this time. Knowing Cissy as well as I do, I know Whitney left home right and properly. I was generalizing and it was a well-intended statement for any young adult coming into the music industry. I was not speaking of anyone specifically.
Franklin did pay tribute to her goddaughter hours after her funeral at concert at New York’s Radio City Music Hall.