Fox News got their Queens of Soul confused on Thursday. As Twitter users were quick to recognize, the network’s tribute to Aretha Franklin, who died Thursday morning at 76, featured an image of Patti LaBelle instead.
The faded photo appeared during an “America’s Newsroom” segment with hosts Bill Hemmer and Sandra Smith, who were in the midst of lauding Franklin’s legacy. Hemmer said, “She sang with a smile on her face when she performed, and that is what she emitted for so many millions and for so many years.”
Yep here's video pic.twitter.com/IIkMDuKB7e
— Zachary Pleat (@zpleat) August 16, 2018
Behind Franklin, a faded image of LaBelle clad in green can be seen in the upper right-hand corner. The image hails from a 2014 performance at the White House, where she sang for President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama.
Fox News apologized for the mix-up in a statement obtained by Variety.
“We sincerely apologize to Aretha Franklin’s family and friends,” a Fox News spokesperson said. “Our intention was to honor the icon using a secondary image of her performing with Patti LaBelle in the full screen graphic, but the image of Ms. Franklin was obscured in that process, which we deeply regret.”
Although Franklin sang at the event, called “In Performance at the White House: Women of Soul,” she doesn’t appear to have shared the stage with LaBelle. She was also not in the photo that Fox ran on air.
LaBelle herself shared her condolences after Franklin’s death.
My thoughts, my heart and my prayers are with Aretha Franklin, the greatest singer of all time, and all of her loved ones right now. ❤
— Patti LaBelle (@MsPattiPatti) August 14, 2018
The singer tweeted, “I am deeply saddened about the passing of the Queen of Soul and my sister in song, Aretha Franklin. Today the world has experienced a tremendous loss.”
Rest in peace Aretha. ❤ pic.twitter.com/QT7HeY5SIf
— Patti LaBelle (@MsPattiPatti) August 16, 2018