Aretha Franklin performs at Hollywood Bowl June 26

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Singer Aretha Franklin performs at the 85th annual New York Stock Exchange Christmas tree lighting festivities on Wall Street December 4, 2008 in New York City.

Like many popular singers, soul diva Aretha Franklin cultivated her vocal gifts in church. But she told KPCC’s Larry Mantle that it’s taken much of her lifetime to recognize how to maintain her instrument at its best.

Aretha Franklin: "It took me 35 years, about 30 years, to find out exactly what to do to keep my voice in shape, and you know what it was?"

Larry Mantle: "What?"

Franklin: "Keep my mouth closed."

Mantle: "Really?"

Franklin: (laughing) "Uh huh. After a concert, just keep my mouth closed, stop talking, and rest my voice for at least 20 minutes."

Aretha Franklin will perform in concert at the Hollywood Bowl June 26th, a week from Friday. It’ll be her first Bowl appearance in 35 years. She told KPCC that cutting back on chocolate, cola, and spicy foods a few years ago helped restore her vocal range to what it was when she recorded hits like “Respect,” “Chain of Fools,” and “Think.”

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