Pope Francis’ upcoming visit to Philadelphia will be a star-studded event, as a slew of entertainers are scheduled to perform for him during the Festival Of Families concert. “Queen of Soul” Aretha Franklin will be among the selected singers to perform during Saturday’s international celebration, which is hosted by Mark Wahlberg and will feature other performances by Andrea Bocelli, The Fray, Sister Sledge, The Philadelphia Orchestra, and more. For Franklin, the appearance will be the second time she’s performing for a Pope. In 1987, she sang “How I Got Over” for Pope John Paul II during his visit to Detroit’s Silverdome. ; “When I was called to sing, his motorcade was just coming into the arena…

Pope Francis’ upcoming visit to Philadelphia will be a star-studded event, as a slew of entertainers are scheduled to perform for him during the Festival Of Families concert.

“Queen of Soul” Aretha Franklin will be among the selected singers to perform during Saturday’s international celebration, which is hosted by Mark Wahlberg and will feature other performances by Andrea Bocelli, The Fray, Sister Sledge, The Philadelphia Orchestra, and more.

For Franklin, the appearance will be the second time she’s performing for a Pope. In 1987, she sang “How I Got Over” for Pope John Paul II during his visit to Detroit’s Silverdome. ;

“When I was called to sing, his motorcade was just coming into the arena, so I’m not sure if he heard my performance or not,” Franklin recalled during an interview with The Huffington Post.

The singer also expressed her gratitude for the opportunity to perform for Pope Francis. ;“It’s magnificent to be held at this level of esteem to be asked and be a part of history,” she said.

For Saturday’s performance, Franklin stated she will be accompanied by noted civil rights activist Reverend Jesse Jackson, Bishop Paul Morton, MSNBC political analyst Michael Eric Dyson, and human rights activist Joe Madison. ;

The 73-year-old has chosen “Amazing Grace” and a “surprise” song to sing during the event — but said her hit 1967 song “Respect” won’t make the cut. Despite its absence, Franklin said the song’s lyrics are parallel to Pope Francis’ principles that all people should be treated with equal dignity. ;

“I think that’s already the message with Pope Francis. He has a high regard for people very, very sensitive to the indigent and the poor, and his message of change as well,” she said. “He put port-a-potties and showers in Saint Peter’s square — he had them installed for the indigent and poor people there. So he has a great sensitivity to the people. He is the people’s Pope.”

Aside from prepping for her special performance, Franklin is also hard at work on negotiating a deal for her biopic. Through the years, the Motown legend has named her ideal candidates to star in the project — including Halle Berry, Audra McDonald ;and Jennifer Hudson — but now it appears she may have landed a writer for the film. ;

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee recalled an encounter with Shonda Rhimes — who expressed interest in helming the project — ;during her August concert in Los Angeles.

“I’ve been negotiating the biopic — we’re very, very close to signing there,” she said. “Shonda Rhimes came to my concert, backstage. And Shonda is very interested in writing the bio for a telefilm. I think that could be a great, great move.”

Also on HuffPost:

— This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.



Original source: 

Aretha Franklin Says Pope Francis Embodies The Lyrics Of ‘Respect’