The “Queen of Soul” Aretha Franklin is preparing to fly again after not having flown in an airplane since 1983. The 73-year-old music legend is preparing to conquer her phobia of traveling by air, which began after a bad experience on a flight over 30 years ago.
During a recent interview with talk show host Meredith Vieira, Franklin revealed that she will embark on her first plane ride in over three decades during the first week of February.
“I’ve got friends that are going to fly with me,” the singer revealed. “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.”
The Memphis native, who rose to stardom in Detroit where she still resides, plans on flying from the Motor City to Chicago on her fear-breaking flight.
“It’s a short trip to Chicago and back. From Detroit to Chicago is nowhere. I can walk home if I’m not comfortable,” the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee informed.
It was a twin engine flight back in 1983 that caused the Grammy winner’s legendary phobia, but now she has vowed to stick to larger planes if she can cure her terror of air travel. “I didn’t know you shouldn’t get on those,” Franklin joked about the twin engine planes. “You should stay on the jets. But I know now!”
If Franklin can overcome her airplane phobia, it will allow her to perform in Europe and other countries that she has not visited in since the 1980’s. While promoting her last studio album, 2014’s “Aretha Franklin Sings the Great Diva Classics,” Franklin confessed that she really wants to visit London and perform some shows for her international fans.