The world mourned the loss of Aretha Franklin, who passed away on August 16th aged 76. Yet, with a life and legacy as prolific as hers, a mammoth celebration was always on the cards. And the GRAMMY body are at the helm. For, on January 13th, a special – aptly christened ‘Aretha! A GRAMMY Celebration For The Queen Of Soul’ – was taped.
On a glittery and soulful Sunday evening inside the Shrine Auditorium, Jennifer Hudson and Celine Dion served up a pair of showstoppers.
The tribute concert, conceived by longtime Franklin collaborator Clive Davis before the singer’s Aug. 16 death, was taped for a future CBS airing. John Legend, Patti LaBelle, Janelle Monae and Alicia Keys — who was joined by SZA — were among those performing for the crowd of about 5,500, which included a Detroit contingent of Franklin friends and family members.
Every rendition of Franklin’s songs from Respect to I Say a Little Prayer brought audience members to their feet. A montage of Franklin was shown throughout the show including one with onscreen quotes paying homage to her from former President Barack Obama, Barbra Streisand, Willie Nelson and Tony Bennett.
“Aretha set the bar,” a quote from Quincy Jones read.
A proposed airdate for the latest in a series of Grammy-presented tribute concerts has been scheduled for 10th March. Previous honorees have included the Beatles, Stevie Wonder and Frank Sinatra.
Other performers included, Alessia Cara, Rob Thomas, Fantasia, Andra Day, Brandi Carlile, Common, Yolanda Adams, Shirley Ceasar, Kelly Clarkson, BeBe Wainans and many more!
Franklin died at the age of 76 from pancreatic cancer last year in her Detroit apartment. Some of her family members including her grandson who spoke at her funeral were in attendance at the tribute, which was hosted by filmmaker and actor Tyler Perry.