Ariana Grande performs emotional tribute to Aretha Franklin with powerful cover of 'Natural Woman'

Publish Date
Monday, 20 August 2018, 9:46AM

Ariana Grande remembered the Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin, with an emotional rendition of '(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman' alongside house band The Roots over the weekend - and it will give you chills.

While promoting her new album, 'Sweetener,' on 'The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon', just hours after the sad news broke that the legendary soul star had passed away following a battle with pancreatic cancer, Ariana used her appearance to pay tribute the late musician.

With her impressive powerhouse vocals the performance, which literally brought Ariana to tears, earned her a standing ovation.

According to TMZ, the 25-year-old singer was initially reluctant to cover Franklin at first, as she was very emotional over the death of one of her heroes.

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Following the performance, Ariana opened up about meeting the musical legend.

She revealed: "I met her a few times. We sang at the White House and she was so sweet, she was so cute. It's an honour to have met her."

She also told Jimmy about a surprise phone call she received from Aretha in which she wanted to send her a CD of her grandson’s music.

She said: "She called me one time, one time only, and she goes 'Hi, it's Aretha,' and I'm like, 'Franklin?!"

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"I don't remember because it was Aretha Franklin on the phone and I didn't know what was happening."

"I was like, 'Oh my god, I'd be honoured to listen. Thank you for thinking of me. Just text me the MP3 or something.'"

"And she was like, 'Well, I don't know how to do that so I'm just gonna send it to you.' And then like four months later I got a package with a CD. But it was nice. It was great."

Aretha's family issued a statement on Thursday announcing one of the "darkest moments" they had experienced.

They said: "Franklin's official cause of death was due to advance pancreatic cancer of the neuroendocrine type, which was confirmed by Franklin's oncologist, Dr. Philip Phillips of Karmanos Cancer Institute" in Detroit."

"In one of the darkest moments of our lives, we are not able to find the appropriate words to express the pain in our heart. We have lost the matriarch and rock of our family."