President To Honor Aretha Franklin, Odetta

President Clinton has named Queen of Soul Aretha Franklin and

folk singer Odetta as 1999 National Medal of Arts honorees,

Reuters reported. The medals, to be handed out at a White House

ceremony Sept. 29, recognize contributions to arts in the United States.

Franklin, 57, has recorded such R&B landmarks as "Respect" and "Chain of

Fools" in her four-decade career. Odetta, 68, who performed with such

major folk stars as Pete Seeger and Harry Belafonte, has

influenced many folk and rock singers that followed.