On Thursday, the Twitter account for Fox News shared its own, since-deleted tweet commemorating the late superstar. However, it quickly drew ire of fans who realised that the smaller image, superimposed over a larger one of Franklin, was actually of LaBelle.
According to The Huffington Post, the image of LaBelle is actually from a 2014 performance at "Women of Soul: In Performance at the White House."
Of the mix-up, Jessica Santostefano, Vice President, Media Desk at FOX News, said:
"We sincerely apologize to Aretha Franklin’s family and friends. Our intention was to honor the icon using a secondary image of her performing with Patti LaBelle in the full screen graphic, but the image of Ms. Franklin was obscured in that process, which we deeply regret."
The Women in Soul event did include performances from LaBelle and Franklin (as well as stars like Melissa Etheridge and Ariana Grande) but, according to The Huffington Post, LaBelle and Franklin never shared a stage. This photo is from LaBelle's solo performance.
It was long rumoured that LaBelle and Franklin did not have the best relationship, something that LaBelle and Franklin denied repeatedly over the years. In fact, when a satirical news story about Franklin punching LaBelle appeared on humour site News Nerd, Franklin reportedly filed a $10 million dollar lawsuit against the publication.
LaBelle shared her own sweet tribute to Franklin after her death.
"I am deeply saddened about the passing of the Queen of Soul and my sister in song, Aretha Franklin. Today the world has experienced a tremendous loss. Aretha was a rare treasure whose unmatched musical genius helped craft the soundtrack to the lives of so many," LaBelle wrote on Twitter.
Refinery29 has reached out to LaBelle, Fox News, and Franklin's representatives for comment.