Mariah Carey: ‘Singing with Aretha Franklin was intimidating’

Mariah Carey was intimidated working with Aretha Franklin on Divas Live in 1998.

The Hero hitmaker teamed up with the late Queen of Soul to perform Chain of Fools and later joined Franklin, Gloria Estefan, Celine Dion, Shania Twain and Carole King on (You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman, but Mariah reveals that while others were eager to sing with Aretha, she was content to just be onstage with the diva.

”I was very intimidated and didn’t want to perform with her,” she told U.S. late night show host Andy Cohen during an appearance on Watch What Happens Live! on Monday (19Nov18). ”Everybody else was like, ‘Let me have it’. And I’m not saying anything against anybody else, but I felt there was a thing where it was like they wanted to be able to say they took her on. I was like, ‘I’ll be with the background singers, OK? That’s the Queen of Soul’.”


Mariah also suggested there was some drama behind the scenes.

”(Aretha) said to me, ‘Mariah they’re playing games, and I’m not having the games. So we won’t be rehearsing tonight…,”’ she added.

However, Carey did not want to divulge too many details about the disagreements, because she is currently working on her memoirs and hinted the story will be in the book.

“Aretha was so just real…,” she added. “It was great and it was one of those moments where she just went so far beyond what I could have imagined she would be like. May she rest in peace. She gave us such a gift.”

Franklin passed away in August (18) and Carey also paid tribute to her in a series of messages on Twitter.

”You showed me I could sing the songs I wanted to sing and bring God with me,” she wrote at the time. “You’ve inspired millions everywhere yet never left home, never left church. Today the entire world mourns your home-going and celebrates all the brilliance you left behind.”

”I will forever cherish the moments I spent in your presence,” she added. “Your indelible impact was earned not only by your incomparable voice but by your bigger than life personality, wit and humor. I say a big prayer for you. You will forever have all our respect.”