Aretha Franklin, known as the “Queen of Soul”, will receive the prestigious NAACP VANGUARD AWARD. This special presentation will take place during the 39th NAACP Image Awards Ceremony at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles on February 14, 2008 (8 to 10pm ET/PT) on FOX.

Earlier today the striking Writers Guild of America West approved an interim agreement with the NAACP for the annual awards ceremony to continue uninterrupted. The agreement means WGA writers will be allowed to script the awards show and striking writers will not picket the event.

“The NAACP VANGUARD AWARD is presented to a person whose groundbreaking work increases our understanding and awareness of racial and social issues,” said NAACP Chairman Julian Bond. To date, the special award has only been presented three times before to Prince, Stanley Kramer and Steven Spielberg.

As a member of contemporary music’s royal family, Aretha is peerless, the undisputed, reigning “Queen Of Soul.”  17-time Grammy Award winner (second highest of any woman in history), Grammy Living Legend and Lifetime Achievement Award honoree, the first woman inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame, and 2005 recipient of the Presidential Medal Of Freedom (America’s highest honor) – her roll call of awards and accolades is endless. In February 2008, Franklin will be honored by MusiCares--a charity of The Recording Academy.

Known around the world by her first name, Aretha has achieved global recognition on an unprecedented scale.  She has influenced generations of singers from Janis Joplin and Chaka Khan, to Natalie Cole and Mary J. Blige, to American Idol winner Fantasia Barrino and Oscar-winning Jennifer Hudson.  Aretha’s ever-distinctive soulful, to-the-bone vocal style has graced the music charts for nearly five decades.  While her live performances have touched the hearts of tens of millions since she began her musical journey as a gospel-singing child prodigy, it is her rich legacy of recordings that are a testament to the power, majesty and genius of this one-of-a-kind artist of the first order.

Dozens of chart-topping records established Aretha as a cultural icon, with an astonish­ing eight consecutive Grammy Awards for Best R&B Vocal Female between 1967 and 1974 – a record that most likely will stand forever.  Included in her litany of timeless classics are “I Never Loved A Man (The Way I Love You),” “Respect,” “Baby I Love You,” “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman,” “Chain Of Fools,” “Think,” “Don’t Play That Song,” “Day Dreaming,” “Jump To It,” “Get It Right,” “Freeway Of Love,” “A Rose Is Still A Rose,” and literally dozens of others from a list of more than 100 singles that have made the charts.

Founded in 1909, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) is the nation’s oldest and largest civil rights organization. Its adult and youth members throughout the United States and the world are the premier advocates for civil rights in their communities and monitor equal opportunity in the public and private sectors.

FedEx returns as a major sponsor this year.  Additional sponsors include American Airlines, Allstate Insurance Company, Best Buy, Chevrolet, Ford Motor Company, Sprint, Wachovia Corporation, and Diageo.

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For more information on the NAACP and the NAACP Image Awards visit

Further media contacts:     
For NAACP Image Awards:
The Lippin Group
(323) 965-1990
Jennifer Price/Alexandra Lippin 

For FOX:
Nicole Gonzales
(310) 369-0827

GQ Media & Public Relations, Inc.
(212) 765-7910
Gwendolyn Quinn
Robyn Ryland-Sanders

The 39th NAACP
Image Awards will air live on Thursday, February 14 (8:00 – 10:00 PM ET/PT Tape-
Delayed) on FOX.


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