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Friday, 14 December, 2001, 09:06 GMT
Aretha 'to sing for Queen's Jubilee'
Aretha Franklin
The concert will be broadcast live on TV and radio
Soul diva Aretha Franklin has issued a statement saying she will sing for the Queen at the Golden Jubilee celebrations at Buckingham Palace next summer.

Franklin said it was a "wonderful invitation, a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity" and will sing four or five songs as part of a day-long concert.

Buckingham Palace
There will also be big screens outside the Palace
The rest of the bill has yet to be announced, but the line-up is intended to reflect pop music throughout the 50 years of the Queen's reign.

The concert will be watched live by 14,000 people in Buckingham Palace Gardens, with big screens outside the Palace gates, and by millions more on BBC TV and radio.

"You just don't get that many invitations to sing for the Queen of England. I'm going to go the extra mile to be there," Franklin, 60, said.

The singer has often been dubbed the Queen of Soul, and has had hits including Respect, I Say A Little Prayer and Sisters Are Doin' It For Themselves.

The Queen, with her Jubilee baton, will celebrate 50 years on the throne
The Queen will celebrate 50 years on the throne
She has won 15 Grammy Awards, was the first female performer inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and her voice has been designated a natural resource by her adopted state of Michigan.

She has also had more million-selling singles than any other woman in pop history.

The concert will take place on 3 June - one day after the 50th anniversary of The Queen's coronation.

A classical concert will be held in Buckingham Palace's grounds on 1 June.

It will be the first time the Palace grounds, usually the venue for invitation-only Royal garden parties, are opened for public concerts.

Tickets will be free and issued through a ballot. Details of how to enter will be released early next year.

See also:

10 Jul 01 | Arts
Royal da Vincis to tour UK
03 Aug 01 | Music
All-star Jubilee gigs at Palace
29 Mar 01 | Music
Soul queen takes on opera
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