Aretha Franklin Once Detailed Heated Incident That Made Her Go Off On Luther Vandross

Posted On : March 15, 2023
Aretha Franklin and Luther Vandross

Late music icons, Aretha Franklin and Luther Vandross, reportedly couldn’t stand each other at one point. They were both dominant, alpha personalities back in the day…who had reputations for telling it like it is at the drop of a dime. That’s exactly what happened when they worked on Aretha’s album, “Get It Right,” together…and as most probably would have predicted, their studio session blew up like a spontaneous combustion.


Aretha and Luther eventually became pretty good friends, but not before the drama that Aretha said occurred, causing Aretha to grab her fur coat and diva-sashay her way up outta their studio session. Aretha revealed this in her autobiography, “Aretha: From These Roots”:

Aretha wrote, “All of a sudden Luther wanted to tell me how to sing, when it was me whom he had learned much about how to sing. My point was simple: If he wanted to tell the artists how to sing, why didn’t he sing it himself? His job was to produce and advise the artists about phrasing, diction, melody, and to be adventurous and say certain things, but definitely not say, ‘Sing it like this.'”

After their argument got a lil’ heated — because neither Aretha, nor Luther were backing down — Aretha left:

“I picked up my coat and walked out of the studio as he and I continued shouting at each other,” Aretha wrote.

See what Aretha later told Jet Magazine about she and Luther’s relationship below…


In a past interview with Jet Magazine, Aretha expanded on what she wrote about Luther in her book:

“When I say this, I say it with respect and I say it in a positive vein. Luther and I really do like each other. We have a lot of mutual respect for each other. Even when we are not talking, we are still cool. I guess you could call it Aries butting heads, because he’s an Aries too. We are very opinionated people.”

She then threw a lil’ shade at the brotha:

“He [Luther] was lying at the base of his radio listening to me. I wasn’t lying there listening to him (laughs).”

So, in other words…Aretha felt like Luther was a youngin’ to the music game in the early ’80s, and she was the pro (although Luther had several hits at that time)…and that he should have respected the hierarchy. However, Luther was not one to bow down. The “Get It Right” album was actually Luther’s second time working with Franklin after producing her prior hit “Jump To It.” Word on the Old School curb is that everything was all good between them on the first go ’round, but that when they got in the studio for their second collabo,’ Aretha demanded that he call her ‘Ms. Franklin,’ while she only called him ‘Vandross.’ She also allegedly had an diva-ish attitude with him, and that’s when everything reportedly went downhill…because Luther wasn’t having that.

DailyMail once quoted Luther as stating, “The Aretha I had heard throughout my entire childhood on the radio — warm and down-home — wasn’t the Aretha I heard on the phone.”

Through it all, Aretha and Luther made nice with each other and recorded her song, which became a hit. They also eventually became great friends up until the time of Luther’s death. Presumably, the way they managed their friendship was by giving each other space, because just like Aretha said — they’re two of a kind and were liable to butt heads at any given moment.