Aretha Franklin To Duet

With Condaleeza Rice?
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Soul icon Aretha Franklin is poised to perform an unusual duet with Republican politician Condaleeza Rice.

Aretha Franklin is a towering figure in American music. The first lady of soul, her recordings move between jazz, pop, R&B, gospel and more. With her incredible voice, the icon is much imitated, never bettered.

Aside from music, the singer is also a passionate supporter of civil rights. Aretha Franklin supported the campaign to get Barack Obama elected, and even performed at his inauguration.

Which makes reports from the United States rather difficult to believe. At a forthcoming charity concert Aretha Franklin is set to perform alongside Republican politician (and former Secretary Of State) Condaleeza Rice.

The two hold radically different political ideals, with Rice have operated under the Presidency of George W Bush. However the pair will set aside their differences for a special concert in Philadelphia next month.

The concert intends to raise funds for inner city children, with Aretha Franklin due to perform at the Mann Centre For The Performing Arts. Taking place on July 27th, the soul icon appears as a special guest of the Philadelphia Orchestra and conductor Rossen Milanov.

A classically trained pianist, Condaleeza Rice is set to accompany the orchestra on a number of pieces before Aretha Franklin joins in.

The pair will run through a series of classical pieces, before leaping into soul anthems such as 'Natural Woman' and 'Say A Little Prayer For Me'. Commenting on the concert Aretha Franklin seemed to be relishing working with the Republican politician.

"Ms Rice is a consummate classical pianist and since I sing the arias, I thought we could do something," she said. "A bipartisan effort for our favourite charities."

This isn't the first time Condaleeza Rice has played with such exulted company - back in 2008 the politician performed for Queen Elizabeth II at Buckingham Palace, reports The Guardian.

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