*Aretha Franklin has canceled her scheduled appearance tonight at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival.
Festival spokesman Louis Edwards says the “Queen of Soul” informed organizers on Thursday that she wouldn’t be able to perform. Edwards said she apologized to fans but wouldn’t give a reason why.
It just so happens that Earth, Wind & Fire was just 65 miles away preparing for a Saturday gig in Biloxi, Miss. The R&B group, who played Jazz Fest last year to rave reviews, was booked at the last minute to replace Franklin on stage tonight.
Pearl Jam is scheduled to headline Saturday, and the set will be broadcast live online to Louisiana National Guard soldiers serving in Iraq.