Aretha Franklin to Seek Injunction Halting Release of Gospel Documentary

Attorneys representing legendary singer and Detroit native Aretha Franklin say they will seek an injunction to stop the release of a highly-anticipated gospel music documentary.

The documentary “Amazing Grace,” shot in 1972, shows a live gospel show headlined by Franklin. James Cleveland was a collaborator, Mick Jagger was in the audience, and the show became a best-selling album.

But the film was left on the shelf for about four decades, initially because of some technical glitches.

It was resurrected in 2008. But in 2011 Franklin sued to stop its release, charging the producers who did not have the right to use her name and image. Franklin reached an out-of-court settlement and the film was not shown.

Now producers say they have found the Queen of Soul’s original contract regarding the film, which they say grants the use of footage from the session.

Franklin’s attorneys counter that even though the singer likes the film itself, the producers are still using her image without permission.

The documentary is set to premiere at several prestigious film festivals beginning this weekend.   

Image credit: Denverlibrary.org

About the Author

Quinn Klinefelter

Senior News Editor

I grab news in the morning, check the papers and the wires, call sources and take a big gulp of coffee. That’s how I start the day.

qklinefelter@wdet.org  

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