Only the best for the Queen of Soul. Alicia Keys, Jennifer Hudson, and more stars hit the stage to honor the late Aretha Franklin for the ‘Aretha! A Grammy Celebration for the Queen of Soul’ TV tribute.
Some of the most talented musicians performed in honor of Aretha Franklin during the epic TV special, Aretha! A Grammy Celebration for the Queen of Soul, which aired on March 10. The star-studded concert featured performances by Yolanda Adams, Shirley Caesar, Alessia Cara, Brandi Carlile, Chloe X Halle, Kelly Clarkson, Common, Celine Dion, H.E.R., Jennifer Hudson, Alicia Keys, John Legend, Patti LaBelle, Janelle Monáe, SZA, and BeBe Winans. The special was hosted by Tyler Perry and also included appearances by Angela Bassett, Courtney B. Vance, and more. Motown legend and Grammy Award winner Smokey Robinson paid tribute to his childhood friend during the special.
The live concert was taped Jan. 13, 2019, at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles. “This special will celebrate Aretha Franklin’s numerous accomplishments as an entertainment icon, singer, songwriter, pianist, actress and civil rights activist,” Jack Sussman, Executive Vice President, Specials, Music and Live Events, CBS Entertainment, said in a statement. “Aretha had an incredible effect on humanity and music with her indomitable spirit and grace. We look forward to honoring this music legend with numerous performers who all admire and respect the Queen of Soul.”
The tribute special comes less than a year after the Queen of Soul passed away at the age of 76. The legendary singer died of pancreatic cancer. Her funeral featured touching performances by JHud, Ariana Grande, Faith Hill, and more. Over the course of her long and successful career, Aretha won a total of 18 Grammys. She was best known for her songs “Respect,” “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman,” “Chain of Fools,” and so many more.