The “Sweetener” singer was brought on last minute to pay tribute to the Queen of Soul during her funeral at Detroit’s Greater Grace Temple on Friday. She arrived in a black mini-dress with beau Pete Davidson, whose presence raised some eyebrows on social media.
On stage, Grande once again delighted her audience ― this time including ex-boyfriend Big Sean ― with a full-throated rendition of the Carole King-penned number.
Franklin was “fond” of Grande, the late soul singer’s family said in a statement earlier this week, and was apparently moved by the 25-year-old’s performance of Franklin’s classic ballad on “The Tonight Show” following her death.
After Grande finished the song at the funeral, Bishop Charles Ellis kept her on stage for a few moments longer, joking that he’d thought she was a Taco Bell menu item when he first saw the program.
Grande didn’t seem too fazed by that comment, laughing it off and proclaiming “We love you, Aretha” one more time before exiting the stage.
Besides Grande, the long list of artists performing at the service included Stevie Wonder, Jennifer Hudson, Faith Hill, Shirley Caesar, Chaka Khan, Yolanda Adams, Marvin Sapp and Vanessa Bell Armstrong.