ENTERTAINMENT
08/29/2018 12:32 pm ET Updated Aug 31, 2018

Ariana Grande To Perform At Aretha Franklin's Funeral After Emotional Tribute

The pop star joins already announced performers like Stevie Wonder, Jennifer Hudson and Chaka Khan.

Ariana Grande’s recent powerhouse tribute to the late Aretha Franklin has earned her a spot to perform at the Queen of Soul’s upcoming funeral. 

The pop star has been added to the list of artists honoring the legendary singer, who will be laid to rest on Friday morning in her hometown of Detroit, Michigan, at the Greater Grace Temple. 

“Aretha was fond of her,” Gwendolyn Quinn, a spokeswoman for Franklin’s family, told The Detroit Free Press, noting that they appreciated Grande’s rendition of “You Make Me Feel (Like A Natural Woman)” on the “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.” 

Other performers include Stevie Wonder, Jennifer Hudson, Faith Hill, Shirley Caesar, Chaka Khan, Yolanda Adams, Marvin Sapp and Vanessa Bell Armstrong.

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Franklin, who spent most of her life in Detroit, died on Aug. 16 at age 76 from a rare form of pancreatic cancer. She had publicly battled health issues for years, undergoing surgery in 2010.

Grande stopped by the “The Tonight Show” earlier this month to promote her new album “Sweetener,” which dropped the day after Franklin’s death. “The God Is A Woman” singer honored the her with an emotional performance of Franklin’s ballad

“I met her a few times. We sang at the White House, and she was so sweet, and she was so cute,” Grande told Fallon about her memories of Franklin. “I was like, ‘How are you a real person?’ It’s an honor to have met her, and we’re gonna celebrate her.”

The 25-year-old also recalled a time when the diva telephoned her directly without any warning. 

“She goes, ‘Hi, it’s Aretha.’ And I was like, ‘Franklin?’” Grande recounted, which she said prompted Franklin to quip, “There’s only one Aretha.”

Fans pay their respects to Aretha Franklin at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History.
PAUL SANCYA via Getty Images
Fans pay their respects to Aretha Franklin at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History.

Ahead of Franklin’s funeral, her body was brought to the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, which is currently hosting a two-day public visitation period starting Tuesday for fans to pay their last respects. 

Surrounded by ornate floral bouquets, Franklin was placed cross-legged in a 24-karat gold-plated Promethean casket and dressed head to toe in crimson red with Christian Louboutin pumps. 

“After all she gave to the world, I felt we needed to give her an appropriate send-off that would match her legacy,” museum board member Kelly Major Green told The Associated Press about the arrangements. “She loved the city of Detroit and the city of Detroit loved her.”

A tribute concert honoring Franklin’s legacy, organized by record executive Clive Davis, will also be held on Nov. 14 at Madison Square Garden in New York City.

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