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If nothing else, the legendary songstress Aretha Franklin (pictured) could only bring more R-E-S-P-E-C-T to the “American Idol” (AI) show particularly now that Steven Tyler and Jennifer Lopez have recently announced that they’re leaving the ABC-TV mega-hit program. Franklin has reportedly expressed an interest in becoming an AI judge and has offered to appear on the show’s next season, according to the Detroit Free Press.

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An admitted fan of the show, Franklin mentioned her desire to be one of the decision-makers on AI in an interview with CNN, “I still haven’t been on ‘American Idol’…I’d love to be a mentor.” Asked if she would consider joining the panel, Franklin told CNN: “Yes, I am interested as a judge!”  Reportedly, Franklin also e-mailed “Idol” producers Saturday, according to TMZ, expressing her interest in becoming a show staple.

The 18-time Grammy Award-winning songstress even alluded to the fact that she would bring along a sidekick, Miss Patti LaBelle herself.  LaBelle, who is 68-years-young, along with Franklin, who is 70, would be AI’s oldest judges to date if selected as replacements for the exiting Tyler and Lopez.

Although both Franklin and LaBelle have decades of experience under their well-secured career belts, there have been rumors that A-listers, such as Mariah Carey, Kelly Clarkson, and Adam Lambert, are also being considered as possible AI judges.

As of late, Franklin appears to be going full steam ahead with her career: She released a new album last year, “A Woman Falling Out of Love,” which was her first in eight years.  She also performed at Whitney Houston‘s funeral earlier this year, headlined at the 2012 ESSENCE Music Festival in New Orleans, and is currently on tour.

Watch Franklin at the Essence Music Festival here:

In Franklin’s case, being 70, is just a number!

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