‘A Natural Woman’

Ariana Grande performs powerful tribute to Aretha Franklin during Queen of Soul’s funeral

Singer Ariana Grande performs at the funeral for Aretha Franklin at the Greater Grace Temple on August 31, 2018 in Detroit, Michigan. Franklin died at the age of 76 at her home in Detroit on August 16. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Pop singer Ariana Grande paid tribute to the late Aretha Franklin with an emotional rendition of her 1967 hit, “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman,” during the Queen of Soul’s funeral at the Greater Grace Temple in Detroit on Friday. Grande also addressed the late music icon following the performance, saying, “We love you, Aretha!” into the mic before she headed off stage.

Grande had previously spoken about meeting Franklin “a few times,” over the years, telling The Tonight Show’s Jimmy Fallon that the Queen of Soul was “so sweet” and “so cute,” adding that “it’s an honor to have met her.” She also shared that Franklin had once, to her disbelief, taken the effort to call her on the phone.

“She called me one time. It was one time only. She called me. She goes, ‘Hi, it’s Aretha.’ And I was like, ‘Franklin?’” she recalled.

In a previous interview with the Free Press, Franklin family spokeswoman Gwendolyn Quinn said that “Aretha was fond of her [Grande],” and that the family had deeply appreciated Grande’s rendition of “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman” on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon earlier this month. During Grande’s Tonight Show tribute, the young star was seen bursting into tears mid-performance.

Watch Grande’s performance at Franklin’s funeral below.

Read the full story at People magazine.

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