Aretha Franklin has cancelled her appearance at a prestigious American university's graduation ceremony due to a mystery family emergency.
The Queen of Soul was set to be awarded an honorary Doctor of Music degree by Rhode Island's private Brown University at a commencement on Sunday's (24May09).
But a spokesperson for Franklin notified university officials she would be unable to travel to the event on Wednesday (20May09).
Brown University President Ruth Simmons says the school hopes to honour the soul singer on a later occasion.