Aretha Franklin arrives at the NBC studios in New York with an injured foot. (July 26, 2011)

*Aretha Franklin has expressed disappointment with her longtime songwriting partner after he launched a legal battle over royalty payments.

The Queen of Soul says she’s “extremely disappointed” over the lawsuit filed last month by Norman West, who has worked with the singer since the 1980s. West is suing executives at Franklin’s publishing company Springtime Publishing over allegations they failed to sign a royalty agreement for a song called “Put It Back Together Again,” which appears on her latest album, “Aretha: A Woman Falling Out of Love.” [Scroll down to listen.]

The legend has now fired back, saying in a statement, “To say the least, I am extremely disappointed that Norman West had the unmitigated gall to file a law suit against Springtime Publishing, Inc. considering how I’ve personally assisted and advised him over the past fifteen years.

“I’ve helped Norman West make a name for himself in the music industry, earn a living and in the past I’ve used several of his songs on my CDs, which resulted in other artists performing and recording his compositions.”

In the lawsuit, West also accuses Springtime of copyright infringement over an earlier song he wrote called “Watch My Back.”