Aretha Franklin Faces Mounting Pressure To Pay Off Lingering Debts

Influential R&B diva and Queen of Soul Aretha Franklin has enjoyed a career resurgence in the past year and a half, thanks in large part to the success of her recent album, "A Rose Is Still a Rose," and its Lauryn Hill-written, Grammy-nominated title track.

But Franklin, who has actually won more Grammys over the course of her thirty-plus year career than any other female artist, may be facing mounting pressure to pay her outstanding debts, according to the "Detroit Free Press."

In the past ten years, Franklin has faced some 30-plus lawsuits seeking an estimated $1 million in overdue bills from sundry hotel chains, limousine companies, caterers and even florists in and around Detroit, where Franklin currently resides.

But despite having the bank roll to pay a Broadway producer some $230,000 in 1988 after backing out of a planned musical on Mahalia Jackson, Franklin has apparently let some bills go unattended for years.

Franklin and her representatives declined to talk to the

"Detroit Free Press" for the article, and had not returned calls from MTV seeking a comment by press time.

Meanwhile, the singer has been nominated for two 1998 Grammy Awards, for Best R&B album for "A Rose Is Still a Rose" and for Best Female R&B Vocal Performance for the song of the same name. Lauryn Hill has been nominated as the songwriter for "Rose" in the Best R&B song category.