While many artists paid tribute to Aretha Franklin when the Queen of Soul passed away on Aug. 16, Taylor Swift saved hers for the audience in the singer’s hometown of Detroit. The 28-year-old stopped in the middle of her concert at Ford Field on Aug. 28 to share her thoughts about the icon.“Detroit, last week we lost an irreplaceable force: Aretha Franklin,” Taylor began, approximately 45 minutes into her show. “She did so much for music, she did so much for women’s rights. She did so much for civil rights. She was one of those people, where no matter what you say, no matter what glowing positive things you said about her, it would be an understatement,” Tay continued.
“Words could never, ever describe how many things she did in her lifetime that made our world a better place. And this is her home. I would like to have a moment of silence so that every single one of us can reflect on our love and respect for her and everything she did in her life so can we please cut the lights and have a moment of silence for Aretha,” she continued.
With that the stage lights went dark and for a full 50 seconds Ford Field was in total darkness. Fans were so respectful with most turning their phones off so the light from the device wouldn’t distract from the solemn moment of reflection that Taylor asked of them. Then before the lights came back up Taylor said “We love you Aretha,” and launched into the first lines of “Delicate.” There are very few singers alive today who could do justice to covering an Aretha song so it’s cool that Taylor didn’t go that route. Her words were more powerful than any cover of “Natural Woman” would have been.
Aretha didn’t think highly of Taylor’s voice or music when she was alive, so it was magnanimous of Taylor to put aside the Queen of Soul’s diss about her some year back. In a Nov. 2014 interview with the Wall Street Journal. she was asked her opinion of pop stars of the day. she said that Adele was a “good singer” and Alicia Keys was a “good writer,” but didn’t give Taylor the same props. When asked about the “Shake It Off” singer, Aretha only replied, “great gowns, beautiful gowns.” Ouch, how about at least giving it up for her songwriting chops? It wasn’t as bad as the shade she gave Nicki Minaj. When asked about the “Anaconda” rapper, she took an if you don’t have something good to say about someone don’t say something at all” approach by replying “I’m going to pass on that one.”