On Air Now
Early Breakfast with Gary King 4am - 6am
8 December 2021, 11:27
Queen of Soul Aretha Franklin shared the importance of Christmas as well her family traditions in rare footage from 1994.
Aretha Franklin is known for her powerhouse vocal and strong conviction to share her faith. Christmas was always significant for her and Aretha described what the annual holiday meant to her.
Aretha shared this information in a video which is believed to be from the 1994 television special titled Christmas At Home With The Stars.
The footage shows Aretha celebrating Christmas at home with her friends and family - Aretha also takes a moment to sing an incredible version of the classic holiday song ‘Joy To The World’.
During the programme, Aretha gave an interview and shared her Christmas traditions as well as expressed her love for her family.
Aretha Franklin celebrates Christmas at her home and sings "Joy To The World" (1994)
“I love to throw one big party every Christmas season where I invite the people who are very very close to me,” Aretha explained.
“We all get together and we laugh and we exchange gifts, we sing and we celebrate and it fills my house with love.”
Aretha also mentioned that she used to enjoy catching up with old friends over the festive season and said that she was “fortunate” to have some meaningful friendships.
She continued: “Another thing I really love about the holidays is that you take the time to get in touch with old friends. I have been very fortunate over the years to have made some really close friends.”
Aretha took a moment to introduce viewers to some of her family and also shared pictures of her children. As she continued to speak, Aretha revealed that she likes to cook during the holiday season.
Jennifer Hudson interview: The importance of meeting Aretha Franklin
“One of the other reasons in addition to that that I like the holidays is that it’s a time of a lot of cooking for me and I cook from Aretha’s cookbook,” Aretha added.
Aretha shared a story about cooking hams with her personal cook. Aretha asked the cook to rate her food when it was ready to serve.
She explained that the cook was excited and kept repeating the phrase “cooking with the Queen”. Later on, when Aretha opened the oven to check on her hams, she pulled the rack out too far and the ham dropped onto the floor.
In response, Aretha said: “I said ‘well baby, I’m literally throwing down today’.”
As she recalled more of her favourite Christmas memories, Aretha said that she remembers going downstairs one Christmas and being amazed because of how everything had been set up.
Aretha said: “I went back downstairs and everything was there. And I just screamed because everything was under the tree and there were dolls and tricycles, nurses kits. I loved the nurses and doctors kits. One of my friends calls me Florence Nightingale.”
Aretha mentioned that her favourite gift was a nurse's kit and fondly recalled using it.
She also spoke of her father C.L. Franklin and spoke about how she “treasure[d]” the gift of music that he taught her.
“I absolutely treasure the gift that my dad gave me which was the gift one of the gifts of song,” Aretha explained.
“And, he gave me a sense of timing and certain other things that I call trade secrets and I keep them to myself. The most special thing I could ever give my dad was my love.”