Aretha Franklin cancels Jazz Fest appearance, but Earth, Wind & Fire step in on main stage

By Chevel Johnson, AP
Friday, April 30, 2010

Aretha Franklin cancels Jazz Fest appearance

NEW ORLEANS — Soul legend Aretha Franklin has canceled her appearance at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, but organizers and fans got lucky with a replacement.

Earth, Wind & Fire happens to be in the area and offered to play on the popular music festival’s largest stage on Friday night.

Festival spokesman Louis Edwards says the “Queen of Soul” told organizers on Thursday that she wouldn’t be able to perform. Edwards said she apologized to fans but wouldn’t give a reason why.

But Earth, Wind & Fire were already scheduled to play Saturday in Biloxi, Miss., about 65 miles away. They played Jazz Fest last year to rave reviews.

Pearl Jam is scheduled to headline Saturday, and the set will be broadcast live online to Louisiana National Guard soldiers serving in Iraq.

New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival:

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