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Last Updated: Saturday, 9 February 2008, 17:54 GMT
Grammys dinner honours Franklin
Aretha Franklin
Aretha Franklin performed her 1967 hit Chain of Fools
Soul legend Aretha Franklin has been honoured by the US music industry ahead of Sunday's Grammys.

The 65-year-old was guest of honour at a charity dinner in Los Angeles, which raised money for musicians in need.

"There may be a debate about who is the president, but there is no doubt about who is the queen," civil rights leader Al Sharpton told guests.

Franklin is nominated for best gospel performance at Sunday's ceremony. She already has 17 Grammys to her name.

She is shortlisted along with Mary J Blige for their duet Never Gonna Break My Faith.

One of Franklin's most memorable Grammy nights came in 1998, when she had to fill in for an ill Luciano Pavarotti without rehearsal.

US former President Bill Clinton called her "a true national treasure" in a video message at Friday's ceremony, while others taking part in the celebration included BeBe and CeCe Winans, John Legend, Corinne Bailey Rae and Herbie Hancock.

Fear of flying

Brought up in Detroit, Franklin began singing in her father's choir, and a live version of Precious Lord brought her into the public eye at the age of 14.

She later teamed up with producer Jerry Wexler, and her hit rendition of Otis Redding's Respect, released in 1967, was hailed as a social and political anthem.

Franklin performed another of her signature hits, Chain of Fools, at the dinner, held in aid of the MusiCares charity.

Thanking her guests for their good wishes, Franklin joked that they might even help her overcome her fear of flying.

"It took six days to get here from Detroit. If I ever wanted to fly again, it's now," she said.

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