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Franklin in US charity concert

Aretha Franklin has taken to the stage with former US secretary of state Condoleezza Rice to raise money for children in urban areas.

The rare duet with Condoleezza, a classically trained pianist, was also held to increase funds for music and the arts.

"It is a joint effort for the inner-city youth of Philadelphia and Detroit," Aretha said before their concert with the Philadelphia Orchestra in the city's Mann Music Centre.

Their appearance in the three-hour show, before a crowd of around 8,000, overflowed with Aretha's hits as well as arias from the world of opera and classical music.

"We decided to give it a try," Aretha said. "So here we are, in the city of Brotherly - and Sisterly - Love."

Condoleezza, better known as a diplomat and national security adviser, accompanied Aretha singing her hit I Say A Little Prayer as well as My Country 'Tis Of Thee.

Condoleezza said she rehearsed furiously for her performance of Mozart's Piano Concerto in D Minor with the orchestra.

Aretha's repertoire included songs from her new album A Woman Falling Out Of Love, to be released later this year.

Press Association

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