Aretha Franklin's nephew remembers the Queen of Soul as "auntie"
While Aretha Franklin was known to the world as the Queen of Soul, her family knew her as a loving, family-oriented matriarch. After her passing Thursday from advanced pancreatic cancer, Franklin's nephew, Vaughn Franklin, spoke to ABC's Nightline about the singer's family life.
"When our parents passed away, my auntie became the matriarch of the family. She took the nieces and nephews -- especially myself -- under her wing," Franklin said. "She took care of us."
He went on to explain that his Aunt Aretha was so much more than just an incredible singer.
"When she walked off stage, she was an auntie, she was a mother, she was a grandmother, she was a cousin." Franklin said. "She was everything to the family, and the family meant a lot to her."
In her final days, Franklin even had the opportunity to say goodbye to his aunt and surrogate mother.
"We had the chance to just sit together," he said. "I had a chance to really open up and tell her how I felt and thanked her for being so important to me and taking me under her wing as an aunite and loving me the way she did."
Franklin said he would never forget Aretha's Christmas parties, to which she invited all the family members so everyone could be together. He also reminiscenced about the time she hosted a party and had truckloads of sand delivered to her backyard so they could have a beach-party theme.
Aretha Franklin was a singing legend around the world but to her family and friends, she also known for her cooking. Vaughn Franklin said her peach cobbler especially was memorable and she was always happy to teach him how to make it.
As for claims Aretha Franklin was occasionally a diva, her nephew said that term never bothered him or the family.
"She didn't want anyone thinking of her as the Queen of Soul when we were together," he said. "It was auntie."
Why Ed Sheeran's Songwriter documentary doesn't show him writing his biggest hit
Songwriter, a documentary about Ed Sheeran directed by his cousin Murray Cummings, is coming to Apple Music on August 28, but it hits theaters in New York City Friday. The movie follows Ed as he writes songs for his smash album, Divide, but there's one song you don't get to see him write -- his biggest hit, "Shape of You." Why? Because Ed just couldn't leave well enough alone.
"He had finished the album, the album was done and it was handed in, the record label had it, and so I flew home," Murray tells ABC Radio. "And then I get a message [from Ed], 'Hey, I've written a new song!' and I'm like, "Noooo! I wasn't there!"
So Murray ended up recruiting his brother Billy to fly from Ireland to England, just to get some footage of the next best thing: Ed mixing "Shape of You" in the studio.
But you do see Ed writing many other songs from Divide, and also penning the Justin Bieber smash "Love Yourself." But since Murray's been filming Ed for the past 10 years and has so much footage, why did he choose to make a movie focusing on his cousin's songwriting process?
"I think he had done a lot of other TV projects...a lot of his story was out there," Murray explains. "I just felt like a lot was covered. And then I thought, 'What could I do that these camera crews couldn't do?' And then I was like, 'Well, they weren't there when the songs were written...I was the only guy in the room.'"
Now that the documentary is out, though, will Murray's next project be serving as the videographer at Ed's upcoming wedding to his fiancée, Cherry Seaborn?
"No," laughs Murray. "I'm gonna be drinking at the wedding!"
Report: Britney Spears ordered to pay ex Kevin Federline $110K
Britney Spears has been ordered to hand over a big chunk of change to her ex-husband Kevin Federline in their continued battle over child support, E! News reports.
According to court documents obtained by E!, the singer must pay Federline $110,000 towards his legal fees.
This is the latest ruling in the ongoing child support case over their two sons, Sean Preston and Jayden James. Back in March, Federline requested an increase in the $20,000 payment he receives each month from Britney.
He sought the increase, according to legal documents, because "the kids are older and the financial circumstances of the parties are significantly different than when the child support was originally resolved."
In May, he filed legal documents requesting that Britney cover his attorney's fees, in addition to the increase in child support.
Mile 22 and Alpha among this week's new movie releases
Here are the movies opening nationwide Friday:
* Mile 22 -- Mark Wahlberg stars as a CIA operative leading a small paramilitary team on a dangerous mission to sneak a police officer with sensitive information out of the country. John Malkovich, Lauren Cohan, Iko Uwais and Ronda Rousey also star. Rated R.
* Alpha -- Set in the ice age, a young man -- played by Dawn of the Planet of the Apes' Kodi Smit-McPhee -- is separated from his tribe during a buffalo hunt and struggles to find his way home. Along the way, he befriends an injured wolf. Also starring Leonor Varela and Jens Hultén. Rated PG-13.
Opening in limited release Friday:
* Blaze -- Ethan Hawke wrote and directed this biographical drama based on the life of country musician Blaze Foley, played by Ben Dickey. Also starring Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri's Sam Rockwell, War for the Planet of the Apes' Steve Zahn and Arrested Development's Alia Shawkat. Rated R.
* Juliet, Naked -- Rose Byrne stars as Annie, who falls in love with washed-up singer Tucker Crowe -- played by Ethan Hawke -- who also happens to be the subject of her boyfriend Duncan's musical obsession. Duncan is portrayed by Chris O'Dowd. Rated R.
* The Wife -- Glenn Close has generated Oscar buzz for her turn as a wife who questions her life choices as she travels to Stockholm with her husband, played by Jonathan Pryce, where he will receive the Nobel Prize for Literature. Christian Slater and Elizabeth McGovern also star. Rated R.
Opened Wednesday, now playing:
* Crazy Rich Asians -- This highly anticipated romantic comedy -- the first Asian-led studio release since 1993's Joy Luck Club -- is based on Kevin Kwan's bestselling novel of the same name. It follows a young Asian American woman, played by ABC's Fresh Off the Boat star Constance Wu, who travels to Singapore to meet her boyfriend's family, only to learn they're super rich. Henry Golding, Gemma Chan, Awkwafina, Kris Aquino, Lisa Lu, Nico Santos, Ken Jeong, and Michelle Yeoh also star. Rated PG-13.
The Simpsons creator Matt Groening talks new series, Disenchantment: "There are no rules"
From Springfield to Dreamland. The Simpsons creator Matt Groening has a new animated series on Netflix set in medieval times, called Disenchantment.
Groening, who worked with former Simpsons writer and producer Josh Weinstein on the new series, said its medieval time period was something they've both been itching to explore.
"We both share a love of fables and fairy tales going back to Fractured Fairy Tales on the Rocky and Bullwinkle show, to Monty Python and the Holy Grail, and all the rest, and it was an opportunity to visualize our imaginations," Groening said.
Groening went on to explain that working with Netflix is an entirely different ball game after working with network TV for the last 30 years on shows like The Simpsons and Futurama.
"There are no rules that we have to adhere to, and unlike the network TV that we're used to, we don't have to stop every seven minutes and break for a few commercials, so we can tell a whole story, and the stories are longer," he explained. "With those extra seven or eight minutes, those are when the fun, crazy amounts of jokes come in."
Comedian Eric Andre helped bring those jokes into the story by voicing a shadowy mythical creature named Luci. Andre told ABC Radio that it's amazing to work with Groening, since he was raised on The Simpsons.
"I would just wait until The Simpson came on, and then I'd be glued to the screen," he said. "[It's a] total dream come true."
Disenchantment premieres Friday on Netflix.
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