Aretha Franklin brought Wendy Williams to tears during Wednesday’s highly-anticipated interview, the first since the Queen of Soul’s reported health issues.
Aretha, who Wendy respectfully referred to as “Ms. Franklin,” commended the former radio show host on how she helped bring some of Whitney Houston’s personal issues to the forefront years ago.
In 2003, Whitney called into Wendy’s show for a tense conversation in which Wendy questioned her about her alleged drug use and was subsequently cursed out by the R&B singer.
“I think you did a very good thing for Whitney in speaking the way that you did at one point. It paid off. She’s doing very well. Sometimes all it takes is just someone to say certain things,” said Aretha, who is Whitney’s godmother.
A teary-eyed Wendy responded, “Thank you, Ms. Franklin.”
While enjoying tea, Wendy and Aretha also discussed Aretha’s health, food — noting that there were no pig feet or hot sauce — and her weight loss.
“You are entirely too fat for words,” Aretha said of herself. “I’m getting close to my normal weight. I was doing everything you could do to lose that weight. It’s hard when you love food. When you’ve done a high energy concert, a carrot is not goin’ work.”
Aretha said it’s been a gradual process, but that she’s lost 85 lbs.
Although she was forthcoming about her weight loss, Aretha had little say about her recent health issues, but mentioned that her previous pain “almost brought me to my knees.” When asked about having abdominal surgery, she did not confirm.
“A lot of things were said. I’ve left that behind. I’m feeling wonderful; I’m feeling great. I couldn’t be feeling any better than I’m feeling right now,” she said.
Aretha also talked about NeNe Leakes and her inauguration hat below. Watch.
-Tracy L. Scott