Aretha Franklin and Other Celebrities Who Have a Fear of Flying

Yahoo Contributor Network

"American Idol" may come calling, but Aretha Franklin won't be flying. The Queen of Soul has publicly thrown her name in the hat as a possible "Idol" judge, but there's one slight problem: The songbird doesn't like to fly.

So when "Today" show host Kathie Lee Gifford and E! correspondent Jason Kennedy chitchatted on the air about Franklin's fear of flying, the Queen got testy.

In an email obtained by CNN, Franklin wrote: "While I enjoy Kathie Lee and Hoda daily, her assessment is totally wrong! I've been to California from Detroit four times this year and Florida. I go wherever I choose to go comfortably on my custom bus."

Problem solved!

But Aretha isn't the only big star who avoids the friendly skies. Check out these other celebs who don't like to fly.

Megan Fox

The mom-to-be looks to another celebrity mom to keep her safe in the skies. According to Contact Music, "Transformers" star Megan Fox has said of her fear of flying: "I developed that when I turned 20…I had to come up with a way to deal with it because I didn't want to have panic attacks every time I get on a plane. I know for a fact it's not in my destiny to die listening to a Britney Spears album, so I always put that on in my headphones when I'm flying because I know it won't crash if I've got Britney on."

Tori Spelling

The actress has been vocal about her fear of flying, even writing about how her famous father passed the fear on to her in her book Uncharted TerriTORI. (Spelling's dad, the late TV exec Aaron Spelling, never flew again after a World War II plane he was scheduled to be on crashed and his family was mistakenly notified of his death.) In a 2010 interview with the OC Register Tori said, "I'm actually doing better. I'm starting to get over my fear, I think."

Billy Bob Thornton

He has been quoted as saying "I'm not afraid of flying, I'm afraid of crashing," but are his fears no more? In the aftermath of the September 11 attacks, Angie's ex reportedly told Mr.Showbiz: "As usual, I'm backwards. As everybody else has gotten worried, I'm not afraid of flying now … Now I feel a little safer because people feel weird about it." Of course he does!


The pop legend developed a fear of flying back in 1990, after her chartered plane had engine trouble. According to the Los Angeles Times, Cher's concert in Nova Scotia had to be rescheduled because, in lieu of flying, she switched gears and traveled by train to Boston, then took a bus to Halifax.

Whoopi Goldberg

The "View" co-host told CNN's Piers Morgan that her fear of flying stems from witnessing a mid-air crash 30 years ago. "That's what stayed in my mind," Goldberg said. "Because I'm a visualist. So if I see it, it lives in my brain." While she did take a course to help work through her flying issues (she traveled back and forth from New York to Los Angeles via private bus for decades) and she does fly today, Whoopi says: "I feel like I shouldn't be flying. I should be rolling in my bus."

Travis Barker

The Blink 182 drummer survived a deadly plane crash four years ago, and he hasn't flown since. Barker recently told Red Bulletin," It's something I want to overcome. And my kids are scared to death to fly. I want them to witness me overcome it. I'm contemplating getting knocked out and getting on a plane to Australia," says Barker. "When I do, I think it's going to be Qantas. They never had a crash, never had a fatality - knock on wood."

More From This Contributor:

5 Bizarre Celebrity Love Notes

5 Unusual Celebrity Cruises

Celeb Moms With Beach-Ready Bods

Note:This was written by a Yahoo! contributor. Join the Yahoo! Contributor Network here to start publishing your own articles.

View Comments