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.