Stars pay respects to gravely ill Aretha Franklin; tribute concert planned
The musical world found itself in mourning this week as Aretha Franklin, the Queen of Soul, was placed in hospice care.
Though Franklin is still alive, tributes are already pouring out in preparation for her death.
In an unusual move, a tribute concert produced by Live Nation and spearheaded by Sony Music Chief Creative Officer Clive Davis, who signed Franklin to Arista Records in 1980, has already been announced. The event, reportedly titled “Clive Davis Presents: A Tribute to Aretha Franklin,” is scheduled to be at Madison Square Garden in New York City on Nov. 14.
Its lineup has not yet been announced, but it seems likely that it will include soul and R&B singers covering classic Franklin tunes like “Respect,” “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman” and “Rock Steady.”
Several celebrities have visited the 76-year-old Franklin at her Detroit home, including singer Stevie Wonder, Rev. Jesse Jackson and Franklin’s ex-husband, actor Glynn Turman.
Beyoncé and Jay-Z paused their Detroit concert on Monday after the show’s opening song “Holy Grail” to pay a small tribute to Franklin.
“This show is dedicated to Aretha Franklin,” Beyoncé said. “We love and thank you.”
Meanwhile, DJ Khaled, who opened the show, performed a singalong version of “Respect” with the crowd.
Actress and singer Mandy Moore praised Franklin as having “the most incredible legacy” while speaking to the Associated Press.
“Who is not a fan? I don’t think there is anyone that Aretha Franklin’s music has not touched or influenced in one way or another,” Moore said. “She’s the best of the best.”
Social media, meanwhile, was alight with affection, thoughts and prayers for the singer – led by former president Bill Clinton. The singer performed at his first inauguration in 1993.
“Like people all around the world, Hillary and I are thinking about Aretha Franklin tonight & listening to her music that has been such an important part of our lives the last 50 years. We hope you’ll lift her up by listening and sharing her songs that have meant the most to you,” Clinton tweeted.
“Adding my prayer to the galaxy of prayers for Aretha today,” tweeted “Hamilton” creator Lin-Manuel Miranda.
Others, including Mariah Carey, Sheryl Crow, Chance the Rapper, Missy Elliott and more joined in.
How incredible is the Queen of Soul? If you don’t already know, here’s some proof. It’s from 2015’s Kennedy Center Honors, and it’s the time that Franklin brought the house — including President Barack Obama — to tears.