Aretha Franklin showed she had an eye for top talent at the Thelonious Monk International Jazz Piano Competition.
The 69-year-old soul star attended the finals in Washington, DC at the weekend and the New York Post reports her manager approached one finalist, Juilliard masters student Kris Bowers, and told him: "Miss Franklin would like to speak to you."
A source revealed: "She told him she would like him to be her piano player from now on. Kris ended up winning the whole competition, so Aretha knows how to pick 'em."
The Grammy-award winning Respect singer, who released her first single in 1960 aged 18, underwent surgery for an undisclosed ailment in December but is still touring and released a new album in May.