Aretha Franklin funeral: Ariana Grande leaves audience spellbound with her touching rendition of 'Natural Woman'
Franklin was quite fond of Grande and had said in an interview that she would like to collaborate with the 'God is a Woman' singer
The world has been mourning the loss of Aretha Franklin and thousands gathered in Detroit to celebrate her talent at her funeral on Friday. The funeral is taking place in Franklin's hometown of Detroit and the service saw highly anticipated musical performances by singers paying tribute to her. At the funeral service, Ariana Grande delivered a blissful performance of the departed Queen of Soul's song 'Natural Woman'. The ceremony is also going to feature Jennifer Hudson, Faith Hill, Fantasia, Jennifer Holliday, Chaka Khan, and Franklin's own son Edward.
This is not Grande's first time performing the classic Franklin track as she had delivered a similarly mindblowing performance of the song during an appearance on 'The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon'. As reported by the AP on August 28, Grande's performance at Franklin's funeral comes after Franklin's family saw her Tonight Show performance. Being one of the earlier artists to perform, shortly after noon on Friday, she naturally took up one of Franklin's most memorable songs.
Clad in a black dress with a mesh inset and her signature high ponytail, she took the stage for a crowd that included the likes of Reverend Al Sharpton and Former President Bill Clinton. And, just like ever, the 25-year-old did not disappoint.
According to Gwendolyn Quinn, a spokeswoman for the Franklin family, "Aretha was fond of her," shared the Detroit Free Press. Not only that, a report from Seventeen in 2015 said that Franklin had said she would be happy to collaborate with Grande. Also, during an interview on SiriusXM radio, she said, "I think Ariana and I are gonna duet. You like that? I think we have a hot duo going."
Sadly, the duet never happened, but Franklin had made her fondness for Grande clear.
Aretha Franklin lay in an open gold casket wearing a red dress and shiny red stilettos. Her feet were crossed at the ankles. Apparently, with her legs crossed at the ankles, the superstar communicates both power and comfort — just as she did in life. How cool is that? pic.twitter.com/3w5KPQzVhu— Christopher Rude (@ChristopherRude) August 31, 2018
Grande had spoken on 'The Tonight Show...' about the time she met Franklin saying: "I met her a few times. We sang at the White House, and she was so sweet and she was so cute. I was like, 'How are you a real person?' It's an honor to have met her, and we're gonna celebrate her." She had also shared a photo of the two of them together, after Franklin passed away, captioning the tweet with no words, but a string of heart emojis.
♡ ♡ ♡ ♡ ♡ ♡ ♡ ♡ ♡ ♡ ♡ ♡ ♡ ♡ ♡ ♡ ♡ ♡ ♡ ♡ ♡ ♡ ♡ ♡ ♡ ♡ ♡ ♡ ♡ ♡ ☁️ ♡ ♡ ♡ ♡ ♡ ♡ ♡ ♡ ♡ ♡ ♡ ♡ ♡ ♡ ♡ ♡ ♡ ♡ ♡ ♡ ♡ ♡ ♡ ♡ ♡ ♡ ♡ ♡ ♡ ♡ ♡ ♡ ♡ ♡ ♡ pic.twitter.com/J2Y1eEbSXo— Ariana Grande (@ArianaGrande) August 16, 2018
Franklin — who passed away on August 16 from pancreatic cancer — had touched the lives of millions with her magical voice. As of now, Quinn, on behalf of the Fraklin family, released a statement thanking well-wishers for their support. "We have been deeply touched by the incredible outpouring of support we have received from close friends, supporters and fans all around the world. Thank you for your compassion and prayers. We have felt your love for Aretha and it brings us comfort to know that her legacy will live on. As we grieve, we ask that you respect our privacy during this difficult time."