The Queen of Soul may have also been the Queen of Debt. Aretha Franklin died in August, and she obviously left behind a legacy of music. The tax man has a different way of remembering Aretha. The IRS now claims Queen Aretha owes millions in back taxes, and let’s just hope a planned tribute concert will put a dent in that pile of debt.
TMZ says Aretha’s estate owes $6.3 million in back taxes along with $1.5 million in penalties. Why don’t they give the dearly departed a little R-E-S-P-E-C-T, eh? This also comes after her own lawyer sued her estate for what he claims was $54,000 in unpaid bills from the last six years. A publishing company also sued the estate for $136,000 in royalties for her 1973 song “Angel.” Damn, Aretha! What’s next? Patti LaBelle suing her pie line for copyright food infringement?!
The lawyer for Aretha’s estate, David Bennett, says the estate paid off the majority of Aretha’s debt before she went to the VH1 Divas Live concert in the sky and that “The Estate is diligently working to resolve any remaining issues.”
If you ask me, one way it might be doing just that is through an upcoming tribute concert being put on by none other than Clive Davis. Vulture says the whole thing is going to be hosted by Tyler Perry and air on CBS and feature Celine Dion, Patti (who best make at least one dig at Aretha’s rival sweet potato pie line), Jennifer Hudson, John Legend, Kelly Clarkson, Alicia Keys, and a slew of other tricks. I didn’t see Ariana Grande on the list, but I have a feeling she’s all set with Team Aretha. I didn’t see Dionne Warwick’s name on the list, either, but I have a feeling she can just fax in her tribute for old time’s sake.