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In the late 1980s and early 1990s, Aretha's old Atlantic recordings were achieving popularity with a new generation. During the ‘80s Aretha rarely left Detroit, but following Cecil's death she began to travel more frequently. She was still frightened of flying, but she toured using a special bus she had custom designed for maximum comfort.
Aretha's fear of flying in an airplane makes it hard for her to tour. Luckily, she is able to ride in a luxury tour bus from venue to venue. Aretha's tour bus includes a full kitchen, fax, phones, and a movie screen!
In 1989, Aretha performed a concert at Radio City Music Hall in New York City. The New York Post said that Aretha's concert was wonderful and that she looked “trim, beautiful, and sexy.” Critics loved her performance at Radio City and nearly all of them wrote about how wonderful her voice still was. Not long after, the awards really started pouring in.
In January 1993, Aretha performed at President Bill Clinton's January inauguration ceremony in Washington, D.C. In 1994, she was awarded a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award. That same year, Aretha was asked to again sing for the president of the United States. Aretha performed in the Rose Garden at the White House, in front of the president and first lady, as well as the emperor and empress of Japan. Later that year, Aretha was one of five recipients of the Kennedy Center Honors, an award that is given to artists who make valuable contributions to American culture.