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Aretha Franklin has given "American Idol" her R-E-S-P-E-C-T.

The Queen of Soul will be appearing and performing on next week's Detroit-set, Motown-themed episodes of "Idol," Fox reps confirmed Thursday. The network is set to formally announce the news Friday morning.

The episodes will tape Wednesday and Thursday at the Fillmore Detroit. "Idol" also taped last week at the Fillmore, and those episodes aired this week.

Next week's episodes will cut the field from 24 semifinalists to 16, and four more will get the cut before the show heads back to Los Angeles to begin its live episodes March 11.

Franklin's history with "Idol" dates back to the show's beginning. Many contestants have covered Franklin's songs over the years — including Kelly Clarkson, who did a show-stopping version of "(You Make Me Feel LIke) A Natural Woman" in the show's first season — and Franklin's name was tossed about as a potential judge in 2012. In 2013, Franklin appeared on the show's finale via satellite, and nearly spoiled the ending of the show when she called Candice Glover a winner before the final results were announced.

"American Idol" airs at 8 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday on Fox.

agraham@detroitnews.com

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