Aretha Franklin has spoken out to silence rumours a rift with Whitney Houston's mother was to blame for her absence from the tragic star's funeral over the weekend (18-19Feb12).
The veteran singer was due to sing at Houston's star-studded memorial service in New Jersey on Saturday, but she cancelled her appearance after suffering foot and leg problems.
She went on to perform at the Radio City Music Hall in Manhattan later that evening, and paid tribute to her late friend during the show.
Online speculation suggested Franklin's pre-taped interview with America's Today show, which aired the day before the funeral, had upset Houston's mum Cissy, and that she had been told to stay away from the memorial in New Jersey.
In the interview, Franklin seemingly spoke of Houston's issues and upbringing, saying, "Parents have to really talk to their children before they leave home. They have to make sure when they leave home, they have all the right things. She left home with all the right things, but she just kind of lost her way along the way."
However, the Queen of Soul insists she was making a general comment and there are no issues between her and the Houston family.
In a statement, she says, "Cissy Houston and I have been longtime friends for almost 50 years. I have four invitations and parking passes that were sent to me for the funeral...
"Cissy does not need ridiculous speculation and neither do I - particularly at this time. Also, with respect to the Today show, my entire statement was pre-taped. However, the Today Show did not air the part of my statement, which said, 'This is no reflection on Cissy or (Houston's nickname) Nippy's upbringing.'
"Knowing Cissy as well as I do, I know Whitney left home right and properly. I was generalising and it was a well intended statement for any young adult coming into the music industry. I was not speaking of anyone specifically."