×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Ariana Grande Gets Standing Ovation for Emotional Aretha Franklin Tribute on ‘Tonight Show’

Ariana Grande was only scheduled to do a comedy skit on “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” on Thursday, but ended up bringing the house down with her rendition of Aretha Franklin’s “Natural Woman.”

Grande, known for hits like “Side to Side” and “Love Me Harder,” was on the show to promote her new album “Sweetener,” which debuts at midnight. According to TMZ, producers asked the 25-year-old pop star to perform a song by Franklin as a tribute to the late legend, who died Thursday at the age of 76. Grande originally said she was too emotional to sing, as Franklin was one of her heroes.

However, Questlove apparently persuaded Grande to perform a Franklin song with the Roots, the in-house band for the show. On a dimly lit stage and wearing all black, Grande performed the song from among the Roots. Fans don’t often get to hear Grande sing classic soul, and Grande’s vocals flowed over the song’s notes, an apt memorial to Franklin. After the tribute received a standing ovation, the singer left the stage in tears.

Grande later recalled receiving a phone call from Franklin, who wanted Grande to listen to music from either her nephew or grandson — Grande couldn’t remember which.

“She goes, ‘Hi, it’s a Aretha,'” Grande remembered. “I was like, ‘Franklin?'”

Previously the same day, Grande posted a photo of herself with the iconic singer on Instagram and Twitter, as well as a clip of Franklin belting “I Say a Little Prayer.”

RELATED CONTENT:

More Music

  • Roger Daltrey, Pete Townshend Roger Daltrey,

    Why Aren't the Who Playing Woodstock 50?

    Whither the Who? That’s a big question for anyone perusing the Woodstock 50 lineup and noticing that the biggest act from the original 1969 lineup that is still around and active is not on the bill. The timing might have even seemed fortuitous, since the band recently announced plans for a 29-city American tour this [...]

  • KCRW

    KCRW Moves Into New Headquarters as Star DJ Jason Bentley Mulls His Future

    Influential public radio station KCRW has finally left the basement and entered its new home: a sparkling, 34,000-square-foot, three-story $21.7 million glass structure on the campus of Santa Monica College. Part of a $115 million development of its Center for Media and Design, it’s a glittering, shiny and massive step up from its previous studio [...]

  • Dave Matthews Band

    Dave Matthews Band, Mumford & Sons, Kings of Leon to Headline Kaaboo Del Mar Festival

    Kaaboo Del Mar today announced the music and comedy lineups for its fifth annual festival happening September 13-15, 2019. Kings of Leon, Dave Matthews Band and Mumford & Sons will headline on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, respectively, while the lineup is rounded out with artists including Duran Duran, Black Eyed Peas, OneRepublic, Sheryl Crow, Maren [...]

  • Grime Star Stormzy Joins Upcoming BBC

    Rapper Stormzy Joins Roc Nation’s BBC Drama ‘Noughts & Crosses’

    “Noughts and Crosses” just added another musical heavy hitter with grime supremo Stormzy set to star in the adaptation of the Malorie Blackman novels for the BBC. Jay-Z’s Roc Nation is already on board and will exec produce, as will Participant Media. Stormzy has an on-screen role and will play Kolawale, a newspaper editor and [...]

  • splice

    Splice Raises $57.5 Million in Latest Funding Round

    Splice, a favorite of music creators that allows access to a library of three million rights-cleared sounds, announced today that the company closed a Series C funding round at $57.5 million. That brings Splice’s total amount raised to roughly $102 million since its launch in 2013. It raised a Series B in November of 2017. [...]

  • 'This Is Us' Composer Siddhartha Khosla

    'This Is Us' Composer Siddhartha Khosla Signs With ASCAP

    Siddhartha Khosla, one of the busiest composers in TV with ongoing assignments for “This Is Us,” “The Kids Are Alright” and “Marvel’s Runaways,” has made the move to ASCAP, the performing-rights organization announced Wednesday. For all of his steady television gigs, “This is Us” remains by far the most prominent, partly because he provides prominent [...]

  • Sara Bareilles Premieres New Album at

    Sara Bareilles Premieres New Songs, Declares Love for Obama at Intimate L.A. Show

    “I know it’s been a really long time since I made a record,” said Sara Bareilles, introducing a night of mostly new music at the Troubadour Tuesday. Hearing some shouted assents from the audience, she parroted back what she heard to be some fan umbrage about that. “’You bitch!’” she echoed, bemused. “Well, I’ve been [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content