Elton John rarely does anything by half, and the 25th annual gala for the AIDS Foundation that bears his name was certainly no exception. While the event, held at New York’s majestic Cathedral of St. John the Divine, featured a monumentally star-studded guest list, speeches from former President Bill Clinton, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, Alec Baldwin, host Neil Patrick Harris and John himself, and was capped by an intimate performance from none other than Aretha Franklin, its most memorable moment came from the mother of Ryan White, the teenager whose death in 1990 led directly to the creation of the foundation. The event raised more than $4.3 million.
Read more at Variety.
Watch the behind-the-scenes story of the making of Aretha Franklin’s A Brand New Me, containing clips from the recording at Abbey Road Studios and archive footage of Aretha in concert, as well as interviews with: Nile Rodgers (Chic), James Williams (Managing Director, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra), Nick Patrick (Album Co-Producer), and Don Reedman (Album Co-Producer).
Pre-order A Brand New Me here: https://lnk.to/BNMMP
Nick Patrick and Don Reedman can’t lie. Part of the allure of producing A Brand New Me: Aretha Franklin With The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra — whose version of “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman” is premiering exclusively below — was a chance to play with the Queen of Soul’s original vocal recordings from the 1960s.
The 14-song set (12 on LP), due out Nov. 10, pairs those vintage vocals with new orchestrations the British duo put together with the Royal Philharmonic at Abbey Road Studios, along with new backing vocals by Patti Austin.
Watch the new video for the Aretha Franklin and Royal Philharmonic Orchestra version of “Respect,” which shows some gorgeous archive footage of the Queen of Soul performing live, along with the orchestra adding lush new arrangements at Abbey Road Studios in London. The track is included on A Brand New Me: Aretha Franklin with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, out November 10.