Soul veteran Aretha Franklin has been attempting to speak with AMERICAN IDOL winner FANTASIA BARRINO - but the newcomer is too nervous to take her call.

Barrino, who became the TV contest's third winner earlier this year (04), has constantly cited the RESPECT singer has her inspiration, but admits she still can't find the courage to have a conversation with her.

Barrino says, "I talked about her so much 'til she called to the record company and said, 'I want Fantasia to call me.' So I called her one time and got the answer machine. I was so nervous, I didn't know what to say. I'm like, 'Ma, what should I say?'

"So I left her a message, she called me back, I didn't pick up the phone. I get star-struck. I don't know what to say. What should I say?

"She's on my answer machine right now... She was like, 'I'm calling for my child, this is Ms Franklin. You need to call me back.' I'm gonna call tomorrow, I promise!"

22/11/2004 21:18