Kree Harrison Sings Aretha Franklin’s ‘Don’t Play That Song’ on ‘American Idol’
Kree Harrison is a performer who seems like she’s probably destined to be a star whether she wins this season of ‘American Idol‘ or not. On Wednesday night (March 27) she moved one step closer to that goal with an exceptional performance of Aretha Franklin’s ‘Don’t Play That Song’ that even got the ultimate stamp of approval from Smokey Robinson.
Harrison has been a standout all along this season, but on Wednesday night she took the opportunity of the night’s theme — which focused on the music of Detroit — to shake things up a little, choosing the classic from the Queen of Soul to bring her out of her comfort zone, which has been big ballads.
And man, did it work. Harrison’s rehearsals of the song were so impressive that vocal coach Robinson — who called Franklin his oldest living friend — said he was going to make sure to call the Queen of Soul and remind her to watch TV on Wednesday night so she could see the singer’s performance. And she delivered with a rendition that was equal parts effortless and stellar, owning the song in a way that made you forget — in the moment — Franklin’s original treatment.
The live audience received her performance with delirious applause, and the judges weren’t far behind. “You’re one of the best in this competition,” Randy Jackson said. “You’re definitely here to stay.”
Mariah Carey noted that she used to sing the Franklin classic in her early years, adding, “I commend you for doing this song.”
Keith Urban was equally impressed, gushing, “I love that you keep reminding people of the blues and soul roots that are in country.”
Nicki Minaj made it unanimous among the judges, saying,”Your confidence never wavers . . . you’re so organic and natural in everything you do,” adding, “You’re a queen, too.”
Harrison will find out whether she progresses another round on the results show on Thursday night (March 28).
Watch Kree Harrison Sing ‘Don’t Play That Song’