Aretha Franklin has lashed out at the media outlets which suggested that she had been 'uninvited' to Whitney Houston's funeral last weekend. Yesterday (February 22, 2012), Aretha released a statement - published on The LA Times - which reads "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 Nippy (Whitney)'s upbringing."

The 'Today Show' interview that she refers to took place after Whitney's death. During the interview, she said "Parents really have to talk to their children before they leave home. They have to make sure that when they leave home they have all the right things." These comments were interpreted by some as a dig at Whitney's mother, Cissy Houston. ARETHA FRANKIN did not attend Whitney Houston's funeral as planned though it has been unclear why. Franklin had explained that she had been experiencing leg spasms and chose to rest, prior to her concert on Saturday night. She reportedly felt unable to cancel the concert as it was a re-scheduling from a concert that she had cancelled in 2010 due to ill health. However, rumours of a rift between Aretha and Cissy persisted.

Whitney Houston passed away on February 11, 2012. She was found dead in the bathroom of her Beverley Hill Hilton hotel room. She was aged 48. Her funeral service was a star-studded affair, with performances from Alicia Keys and Stevie Wonder. The memorial service was marred by drama when Whitney's ex-husband Bobby Brown stormed out over a disagreement regarding seating arrangements.