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Dionne Warwick says today’s pop is for ‘younger ears than mine’
When Dionne Warwick came for Chance the Rapper in a Twitter exchange that went viral last week, people were saying a little prayer for him.
“If you are very obviously a rapper why did you put it in your stage name?” Warwick asked Chance in a tweet. “I cannot stop thinking about this.”
The legendary diva quipped, “I am now Dionne the Singer,” while Chance responded that “I will be whatever you wanna call me Ms Warwick.”
Warwick, too, was awestruck.
“I didn’t think he would know who Dionne Warwick actually is,” the five-time Grammy winner — who will turn 80 on Saturday — told The Post. “And to my surprise, he felt the same way: He was surprised that I knew who he was. And, of course, I knew who he was!”
Since her viral moment, the songbird has gotten love from other stars, such as Taylor Swift and The Weeknd, who, like Chance, had been singled out by Warwick about the “the” in his stage name — and questioned about why he misspelled “weekend.” After The Weeknd slid into her DMs, he gave Warwick an explanation.
“He said, ‘Well, that’s just the way I felt I wanted to do it,’ ” Warwick said. “I said, ‘Well, you’re entitled.’ ”
Warwick demurs when asked about other up-and-comers in the biz.
“I don’t have any favorites,” she said. “Most of the youngsters, their music is basically for their ears — and much younger ears than mine.”
There are a few exceptions.
“Every now and then something will come across that kinda catches me, like ‘Holy’ with Chance and Justin Bieber,” she said. “They’re not people I would normally be listening to. It’s really a lovely, lovely song and very meaningful.”
Since her feisty fun with Chance in the Twitterverse, the “That’s What Friends Are For” chanteuse has become real-life pals with the rapper, even chatting on the phone with him.
“It was a wonderful conversation,” said Warwick, who will now be collaborating with Chance on an upcoming charity single to benefit her Hunger: Not Impossible initiative. “I’m thrilled to be able to say [that]. He’s a wonderful young man.”
It was her niece, Brittani Warwick, who schooled her Aunt Dionne all about Twitter.
“I was watching my nieces and nephews, and all this fun they were having on Twitter,” said Warwick. “I said, ‘I wanna do that! Can you show me how to do it?’ And she taught me what to do, and all of a sudden I was having me some fun, too.”
After a couple of months on Twitter, Warwick is clearly getting the hang of it.
“It’s becoming a little easier for me,” she said. “It’s really just been a bunch of fun for me — the freedom and the giggles that you can have by asking questions and getting to know people, finding that they seem to know me, which is a good thing. It was a lovely surprise to know that so many [from the younger generation] did know me.”
As for younger artists using social media to connect with their fans today, Warwick said, “I do believe that it can be very, very instrumental and very good if used properly … keeping it light and fun.”
Warwick advises young artists to still keep some mystery on social media, noting that fans didn’t need to know all of her business early in her six-decade career.
“And they still don’t,” said the star, who is currently unattached.
It will “definitely” be tough for Warwick to settle for a virtual 80th birthday celebration on Saturday because of the pandemic.
“It’s completely alien,” she said, adding that she plans to have a proper party when it’s safe in 2021. “Absolutely. I intend to do that.”
But being stuck in her South Orange, NJ, home “hasn’t been too bad” for her.
“I’ve kinda used it as a vacation I’ve never had,” said Warwick. “I finally got to get to know my home and sleep in my own bed and not worry about room service. I eat when I wanna eat and what I wanna eat and how I want it.”
She added with a laugh, “I’ve discovered rooms I didn’t even remember in my home.”