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Aretha Franklin's Globe-Nominated Performance


Finally today, on Monday night, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association hands out the Golden Globe Awards. And among the nominees this year, the queen of soul.

(Soundbite of song "Never Gonna Break My Faith")

Ms. ARETHA FRANKLIN (Singer): (Singing) My Lord, I have read this book...

CHADWICK: Aretha Franklin is nominated for this song, "Never Gonna Break My Faith." She duets with Mary J. Blige.

(Soundbite of song, "Never Gonna Break My Faith")

Ms. FRANKLIN: (Singing) ...nowhere can, I find...

CHADWICK: The song was featured in the film "Bobby," set in 1968, about the death of Robert F. Kennedy. And we spoke with Aretha Franklin about her memories of that year when she had four Top 10 hits, the year the nation lost both Martin Luther King, Jr. and Bobby Kennedy to assassins' bullets.

Ms. FRANKLIN: It was a terrible time in American history. Very shocking and tragic moments.

CHADWICK: Coming right after the assassination of Dr. King, and with so much other kind of grim news and uncertainly in the time, an election on and President Johnson had just said I'm not even going to run again. It just felt like, you know, you did need some faith.

Ms. FRANKLIN: Mm-hmm. Mm-hmm. Well, many people certainly had it. Millions did - and still do and will.

CHADWICK: So, when the producers of this film brought you this song, and you looked at it, this was something that you wanted to do? Or maybe you had some doubts saying, I don't want to go back and revisit that time because it was pretty grim?

Ms. FRANKLIN: No. The song came through Mr. Clyde Davis, the chairman of J Records. When he played it for me, I was just blown away. The lyric was so heavy, and melodically - I said, who wrote this? This is one of the greatest songs that I have heard in a very long time.

(Soundbite of song, "Never Gonna Break My Faith")

Ms. FRANKLIN: (Singing) You can lie to a child with a smiling face. Tell me that color ain't about a race. You can cast the first stone. You can break my bones. But you're never gonna break, you're never gonna break my faith. Faith and hope ain't yours to give. Truth and liberty are mine to live. Steal a crown a from a king. Break angel's wings, but you're never gonna break, you're never gonna break my faith. No, no...

CHADWICK: Miss Franklin, you have so many awards already - 19 Grammys. You're in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. You've got the National Medal of the Arts. You've even got a Presidential Medal for Freedom.

Ms. FRANKLIN: Mm-hmm.

CHADWICK: You actually never have been nominated for a Golden Globe before. What would you do with - what if you got it? How would you have any more room?

Ms. FRANKLIN: What would I do with it? I will just take it and hug it and love it. I would be absolutely thrilled to win a Golden Globe or an Oscar. Either.

CHADWICK: Well, that may be coming next.

Ms. FRANKLIN: I just - I would just love to. And I can't tell you how blessed I would feel.

CHADWICK: Well, there it is, a chance for the Foreign Press Association to thrill Aretha Franklin. How are you going to...

Ms. FRANKLIN: And particularly, at this juncture in my career, it would just be tremendous.

CHADWICK: Aretha Franklin.


CHADWICK: Thank you so much for speaking with us.

Ms. FRANKLIN: Okay. My pleasure.

(Soundbite of song, "Never Gonna Break My Faith")

Ms. FRANKLIN: (Singing) For those we lose before their time, I pray their souls will find the light. I know that the day will surely come when we all will be one. Oh, yeah. Oh, yeah. You're never gonna break my faith. Oh, yeah.

CHADWICK: DAY TO DAY is a production of NPR News with contributions from Slate.com. I'm Alex Chadwick.


And I'm Luke Burbank. Sing it. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.