*It’s a new year and Aretha Franklin has plans to start fresh with trying to conquer her fear of flying.
The Queen of Soul is gearing up for her first trip in the air during the first week of February. The trek, which will take Franklin from Detroit to Chicago, will be her first flight in more than three decades.
The singer’s last time up in the air was back in 1983 when a bad experience on a twin-engine flight resulted in her fear of flying. Years later, Franklin looks ready to take to the sky again as she revealed her desire to overcome her fear with a few friends coming along for the ride.
“I’ve got friends that are going to fly with me,” the legendary entertainer revealed during a recent appearance on “The Meredith Vieira Show.” “Pastor Shirley Caesar, a neighbor and a good friend Ron. Rev. Jesse Jackson says he’s coming too, but I’ll believe that when I see it.”
“It’s a short trip to Chicago and back. From Detroit to Chicago is nowhere. I can walk home if I’m not comfortable,” Franklin told host Meredith Vieira as she vowed to stick to planes larger than the twin-engine plane she took in ’83 if she’s able to get over her fear of traveling by air.
“I didn’t know you shouldn’t get on those,” the vocalist joked about the twin-engine planes. “You should stay on the jets. But I know now!”
Should Franklin conquer her fear of flying, it would be good news for her fans overseas. Although Franklin hasn’t stepped foot on international soil since the ‘80s, she did mention her desire to visit London and perform a few shows for fans while promoting her last studio album, 2014’s “Aretha Franklin Sings the Great Diva Classics.”