Ariana Grande performs 'Natural Woman' in emotional tribute to Aretha Franklin

Aretha Franklin: Ariana Grande and Stevie Wonder among performers for legendary singer's funeral

The funeral takes place on Friday 31 August, following a week of services and tributes

Heidi Quinn
Thursday 30 August 2018 12:05

Ariana Grande, Stevie Wonder and Chaka Khan are among the stars who will perform at Aretha Franklin’s funeral.

The service is to be held in the Greater Grace Temple in Detroit, home town to the “Queen of Soul”. Guest speakers including former President Bill Clinton, Smokey Robinson and Rev. Jesse Jackson will also be in attendance.

Aretha Franklin’s representative Gwendolyn Quinn said that Franklin first met Ariana Grande at The White House. In 2014 they both performed for then President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle as part of the "Women of Soul" concert.

Quinn said Franklin enjoyed meeting Grande and that the Franklin family was moved by her cover of "(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman". Grande performed an emotional rendition of the song on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon alongside The Roots after Franklin’s passing on 16 August aged 76, from pancreatic cancer.

Other confirmed performances include Wonder, Jennifer Hudson, Faith Hill, Chaka Khan, Shirley Caesar, Yolanda Adams, Marvin Sapp, and Vanessa Bell Armstrong. According to AP, a host of gospel singers will also perform at the service, to reflect Franklin's strong ties to the genre.

Wonder was a longtime friend of Franklin and attended her father's church in Detroit when he was a child. His 1967 song "Until You Come Back To Me" was later released by Franklin and went onto become a massive hit. He had planned on collaborating with her just months before her death.

Taylor Swift was another star who paid tribute to the "Respect" singer this week, by requesting a minute’s silence during her Reputation Stadium Tour show at the Force Field Stadium in Detroit. The 28 year old asked 50,000 fans to join her “so that every single one of us could reflect on our love and respect for her and everything she did in her life”.

Swift concluded the moment of silence with a simple “We love you, Aretha". She then moved on to perform the song "Delicate" from her album Reputation.

Franklin's body went on display on Tuesday 28 August at Detroit's Charles H Wright Museum of African American History, lying in state in a gold coffin which has the words "Aretha Franklin the Queen of Soul" embroidered in fabric lining the lid.

She will be laid to rest at Detroit’s Woodlawn Cemetery following the private service on Friday.

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