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By Antoine du Rocher

NEW YORK, 2 FEBRUARY 2008- Seventeen-time GRAMMY®-winning recording artist Aretha Franklin (b. 1942) will be honored on 8 February as the 2008 MusiCares Person of the Year at a special event celebrating her extraordinary musical achievements and her philanthropic commitments to children's and healthcare organizations, and various churches and food banks in the Detroit metropolitan area. Proceeds from the annual Person of the Year tribute provide essential support for MusiCares , which ensures that music people have a place to turn in times of financial, medical and personal need.

Held at the Los Angeles Convention Center, the event in honor of the legendary "Queen of Soul" will feature performances by Patti Austin, Dan Aykroyd & Jim Belushi ("The Blues Brothers"), Andrea Bocelli, Melanie Brown, Shirley Caesar, Aretha Franklin, Anthony Hamilton, Herbie Hancock, Roy Hargrove, Faith Hill, Fantasia, Lang Lang, Ledisi, John Legend, Lil' Mama, Jamia Simone Nash, Corinne Bailey Rae, Robin Thicke, Trin-I-Tee 5:7 and BeBe & CeCe Winans as well as special appearances by Bill Cosby and Blair Underwood.

The gala benefit and reception will feature a special live auction broadcast live on Auction Network.com with real-time interactive bidding technology. The live auction will offer an exclusive selection of celebrity memorabilia and VIP experiences and will be open to bidding from event guests as well as online and telephone bidders around the world. Featured items include: a pink Cadillac CTS Sedan inspired by Aretha Franklin's "Freeway Of Love"; a private painting lesson with Tony Bennett and renowned portrait painter Everett Raymond Kinstler; the guitar Elvis Presley used during his last show at the Las Vegas Hilton; a Bill Clinton signed saxophone; "Stairway To Heaven" sheet music autographed by Jimmy Page, Robert Plant and John Paul Jones; an Indy 500 VIP experience; an Ultimate GRAMMY VIP experience; and wardrobe and/or instruments used by Ray Charles, Kurt Cobain, Peter Frampton, Elton John, John Lennon, Jerry Lee Lewis, Madonna, the Rolling Stones, Slash, Bruce Springsteen and more.

Past MusiCares® Person of the Year honorees include Tony Bennett, Bono, Natalie Cole, Phil Collins, David Crosby, Gloria Estefan, Don Henley, Billy Joel, Elton John, Quincy Jones, Luciano Pavarotti, Bonnie Raitt, Paul Simon, Sting, James Taylor, Brian Wilson, and Stevie Wonder.

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