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Fox News Mistakenly Uses Photo of Patti LaBelle in Aretha Franklin Tribute

Fox News Channel Aretha Franklin Patti LaBelle

Fox News Channel on Thursday aired a photo of R&B singer Patti LaBelle in a tribute to the recently deceased Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin.

The photo of LaBelle was in the background of a title card depicting Franklin’s lifespan, an image that was broadcast on the cable network shortly after news broke that Franklin, 76, had died at her Detroit home Thursday morning.

As shrewd Twitter users pointed out, the still photo of LaBelle appears to issue from when she sang for then President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama at the White House in 2014.

The incorrect visual appeared during America’s Newsroom as hosts Bill Hemmer and Sandra Smith discussed Franklin’s immense talent and musical legacy.

The erroneous slide also can be seen at the end of a segment in which Hemmer and Smith interview one of Franklin’s former backup singers.

UPDATE: In a statement, Jessica Santostefano, vice president, media desk, 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 image of LaBelle Fox News used was from a 2014 White House concert called “Women of Soul.” Franklin and LaBelle did both sing there but, at least in the PBS recording of the event, did not perform on stage at the same time. And, as Mediaite points out, the  AP photo used in the graphic does not include Franklin at all.

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