Aretha Franklin 'ready to sign' on biopic of her life as she celebrates 74th birthday


Aretha Franklin was in the mood for celebrating at her 74th birthday party, and not just because she was another year older.

"Good news - we're ready to sign for the movie," she told AP on Thursday night, speaking of the biopic about her life that she has been trying to arrange with Straight Outta Compton producer Scott Bernstein.

Aretha Franklin

"We've agreed on all the key points. There's very little left now (to negotiate), very little. They have given me creative control and that's all I wanted."

Plans for a biopic date back to at least 2011, when Aretha announced she wanted Halle Berry to star. Jennifer Hudson is now reportedly being considered for the lead.

Aretha spoke at a birthday bash she threw at the Ritz-Carlton hotel in New York, where she was joined by 100 friends.

Jennifer Hudson

Aretha, who turned 74 on March 25, arrived in white fur and settled into a corner table alongside record executive Clive Davis and the Rev Jesse Jackson, among others.

The Respect singer was treated to performances by the Dizzy Gillespie All Stars and Dennis Edwards of Temptations fame before a multi-tiered vanilla cake was wheeled out, with a tape recording of Stevie Wonder's Happy Birthday playing on the sound system.

Aretha Franklin

Clive, who has known Aretha for more than 30 years and worked with her on numerous recordings, said he approached their collaborations with a sense "that everything she does is history".

"Everything will be studied centuries from now," he said.