Queen Of Soul Tackles Christmas

Although it may come as a surprise to many, given the breadth of Aretha Franklin's work, she has just released her first Christmas album, "This Christmas, Aretha."

"The chairman didn't think it was that important. I always did though. Christmas is important," Franklin told Early Show co-anchors Harry Smith and Maggie Rodriguez.

In true "Queen of Soul" spirit, Franklin literally rose to the occasion to sing her famous song, "Respect."

"I haven't gotten up this early since I sung gospel," Franklin joked. "It ain't even Sunday."

Franklin's Christmas album features a traditional "Silent Night," a completely different version of "Ave Maria," "Christmas Just Ain't Christmas Without The One You Love" and "This Christmas," which her son Eddie also sings on, Franklin noted.

On her next album, Franklin will take on classical music.

"My teacher is a student at Juilliard and she knows the Juilliard technique, so I get it," Franklin said.

With nothing to prove at this point, Franklin says that she is still working and still growing.

"Oh, absolutely. You never stop growing and reaching out for bigger and better things," she said.

The classical genre came naturally for Franklin.

"I always heard it. My sister Erma used to play classical piano at home as children. And she played the 'Flight of the Bumblebee.' So I've heard it all my life and loved it, but I just started singing gospel and secular first," she said.