Condoleezza Rice and Aretha Franklin in a charity concert Philadelphia





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Uploaded on Jul 29, 2010

It was an unlikely pairing. Stage left, Condoleezza Rice, the former Republican darling, a classically trained pianist and academic perhaps better known as George Bush's enforcer. Stage right, Aretha Franklin the Queen of Soul, the voice of black emancipation and a performer at the inauguration of Barack Obama.

The former US secretary of state and Franklin took the stage last night at Philadelphia's Mann Music Centre in a rare duet. Their aim was to raise money for urban children and awareness for music and the arts.

Their appearance in the three-hour concert before an estimated crowd of 8,000 overflowed with Franklin's catalogue of hits and arias from the world of opera and classical music.

"We decided to give it a try," Franklin said. "So here we are, in the city of Brotherly -- and Sisterly -- Love."

Rice played piano while Franklin sang her hit I Say A Little Prayer as well as My Country, 'Tis of Thee. Earlier in the programme, Rice performed a selection from Mozart's Piano Concerto No. 20 in D Minor with the orchestra, a piece she said she practised furiously.

Franklin even tickled the ivories a few times, including for a song from her new album A Woman Falling Out of Love, which will be released later this year. She also sang a duet -- The Way We Were -- with surprise guest Ronald Isley.


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