Illness forces Faith Hill to withdraw from tribute

February 8, 2008 6:29:18 PM PST
A bronchial infection forced Faith Hill to withdraw from a MusiCares tribute to Aretha Franklin. "I am devastated and deeply disappointed," the 40-year-old country singer said in a statement late Thursday. "I have been looking forward to being part of this event for months, and even after being diagnosed with a bronchial infection I came to L.A.

anyway hoping that I'd be able to sing. I simply can't."

Hill was to join Fantasia, John Legend, Herbie Hancock, Shirley Caesar, the Blues Brothers, Bill Cosby and others Friday in honoring Franklin as the 2008 MusiCares Person of the Year. The show was be taped for broadcast on PBS.

MusiCares is a Recording Academy charity that supports the arts community and music education programs.

Franklin, 65, is up for her 18th Grammy Award on Sunday, nominated for best gospel performance for a duet with Mary J. Blige. The Grammys will air live from the Staples Center in Los Angeles on CBS.

"Aretha is a musical hero and she deserves all of the accolades that she receives," Hill said. "I only hope that I'll get the chance to be a part of something like this in the future."