Among the performers at Aretha Franklin’s funeral, which takes place today at the Greater Grace Temple, in her hometown of Detroit, was singer Ariana Grande who delivered a pitch-perfect rendition of “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman.”
Backed by a chorus of gospel singers, the 25-year-old represented the young generation of music makers influenced by the Queen of Soul. But the age gap was evident when the officiating reverend joked that, though his daughter is a fan, “When I saw Ariane Grande on the program, I thought it was something new on Taco Bell.”
He went on to call Grande “an icon herself.”
Grande then declared, “We love you, Aretha,” and exited the stage after embracing her backup singers. Big Sean, who was in attendance, gave Grande a standing ovation.
The lineup for the invite-only funeral service includes Stevie Wonder and Jennifer Hudson, who both sang at Michael Jackson’s funeral in 2009, along with Chaka Khan, Ariana Grande, Faith Hill, Ronald Isley, Yolanda Adams, Jennifer Holliday, Fantasia, a number of gospel singers and Franklin’s son Edward.
Speakers at the funeral include former president Bill Clinton, veteran music industry executive Clive Davis, Smokey Robinson, reverends Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton, Cicely Tyson, Michigan Governor Rick Snyder, and Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan.