Singer flayed for her furs

Soul singer Aretha Franklin has been heavily criticised by animal rights campaigners for her love of fur coats, with a spokesman for the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (Peta) branding her a "court jester".

The singer arrived at the recent Grammy Awards sporting the fashionable item - but her choice of wardrobe has not gone down well with animal activists.

In an open letter to the R.E.S.P.E.C.T. hitmaker, Peta representative Dan Matthews writes: "Music lovers may think of you as a 'queen', but to animal lovers, you are a court jester ...

"Why not shed the old-fashioned look that adds pounds to your frame and detracts from your beautiful voice? Please consider donating your furs to the homeless as 'queen of compassion', Mariah Carey, did.

"You'll get a tax credit for the donation." - Wenn