Aretha Franklin tells Toronto Star: 'I’m crazy about' Anne of Green Gables

Jocelyne Lloyd
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Queen of Soul says she wants to visit place where L.M. Montgomery's characters came from

Aretha Franklin attends her 72nd birthday celebration on Saturday, March 22, 2014 in New York.

The Queen of Soul wants to visit the place where Anne of Green Gables comes from.

During an interview with the Toronto Star's theatre critic, Richard Ouzounian, Aretha Franklin demanded to know where Prince Edward Island is.

“I love Anne of Green Gables. I have for years. That’s one of my favourite things," she says in the interview promoting her Friday show at Toronto's Roy Thompson Hall. "She’s such a can-do kind of girl, that’s why I’m crazy about her. And that Gilbert Blythe? He’s a charmer. And Marilla, a lady who knows just how she wants things to go? Oh yes, I think I can appreciate that as well.

"I just think I’d like to see the place they all came from.”


Officials with the Confederation Centre of the Arts have seen Ouzounian's article and are issuing an invitation to the singer to come see the musical Anne of Green Gables.

Franklin also chats about her recent appearance at the White House, her 72nd birthday party in March and her early years breaking into the music industry.

Topping Rolling Stone magazine’s list of 100 Greatest Singers of All Time, Franklin has received a Presidential Medal Of Freedom (the U.S.A.'s highest honour), 17 Grammy Awards, a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award and a Grammy Living Legend Award in addition to countless international and national awards and accolades.

Next up? While she doesn't come out and say she's planning a visit to P.E.I., the Island would certainly fit in well with one of her plans.

"I’m having a big beach party this summer,” Franklin told Ouzounian.

After seeing the story on The Guardian’s website, Premier Robert Ghiz sent a tweet to Franklin, inviting her to visit Prince Edward Island. He said he was thrilled to discover Franklin is interested in the Island.

“I think it’s a great opportunity for P.E.I. to capitalize on the popularity,” Ghiz told reporters Wednesday. “Obviously Aretha Franklin is one of the most renowned music artists in the world, so it can’t hurt us by her liking Anne of Green Gables.”

He added the Confederation Centre is reaching out to Franklin in the hopes of encouraging her to visit the province.


Geographic location: Green Gables, Toronto

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Recent comments

  • Karl Proude
    April 30, 2014 - 06:51

    Goes to show how much our Red Headed girl did for Prince Edward Island ,yet we don,t have the brains to continue to promote her and our Province via our licence plates because a few are embarrassed over them Published on July 05, 2013. Province scraps Anne of Green Gables, Confederation Bridge licence plates. The Bluenose still lives on in Nova Scotia. And just think without the knowledge and promotion of Anne of Green Gables, we may have never been able to pull off the PNP scams.

  • Common Tater
    April 29, 2014 - 08:08

    I went to the show in Toronto last weekend at Roy Thompson Hall - stunning venue. The show was... OK. It was 90 minutes (more or less) and no intermission, no encores. There was a 24-piece band including 5 backup singers. The band clearly had not had much time to rehearse together - they were out of synch in the first two numbers and just muddled through it. Ms. Franklin did sing some of her great hits, and there was a good gospel feel to many of the songs. But it lacked lustre. Given that she is 71 and still touring, I give her credit for even getting out on stage. But I don't think I would buy another ticket...

  • you know
    April 24, 2014 - 13:48

    You know, nothing is stopping her from visiting PEI - I am sure she can afford it.

  • townie22
    April 24, 2014 - 11:01

    perhaps she could be enticed to play a concert here Canada Day/150th Anniversary? she would like to visit here anyway, that would be excellent.

  • no google
    April 24, 2014 - 09:02

    No google where she comes from? They must be backward souls down in that country.

    • don
      April 27, 2014 - 16:31

      this ill sound funny but a lot of people in the USA really only knows about montreal and fords play town. they learn nothing about canada.

  • constance Foy
    April 23, 2014 - 18:20

    Would love to go to one of her concert - if ever the opportunity occured.

  • CFA
    April 23, 2014 - 14:00

    Where she comes from, you mean Nova Scotia?

  • No messing about
    April 23, 2014 - 12:20

    She is a serious woman. Better not mess her about. I am sure there would be plenty of riders for her to come here.

  • Excited
    April 23, 2014 - 09:08

    I have tickets for the show in Toronto on Friday! This will be the second time I've been lucky enough to see her perform. R-E-S-P-E-C-T for Aretha!