Hill Forced To Withdraw From Franklin Tribute Concert
Country singer FAITH HILL was forced to cancel her performance at a tribute to soul legend ARETHA FRANKLIN after contracting a bronchial infection. The 40-year-old was scheduled to join American Idol winner Fantasia Barrino, John Legend, Herbie Hancock, Shirley Caesar, the Blues Brothers and Bill Cosby on Friday (08Feb08) to honour the Respect hitmaker as 2008's Person of the Year award, as named by MusiCares, a Recording Academy charity supporting music education. Hill says, "I am devastated and deeply disappointed. I have been looking forward to being part of this event for months, and even after being diagnosed with a bronchial infection I came to Los Angeles anyway hoping that I'd be able to sing. I simply can't. "Aretha is a musical hero and she deserves all of the accolades that she receives. I only hope that I'll get the chance to be a part of something like this in the future." Franklin, 65, is set to perform at the Grammy Awards on Sunday (10Feb08), where she is nominated for her 18th award for Best Gospel Performance for a duet with R+B star Mary J. Blige.