In the wake of Aretha Franklin’s death this week, many celebrities and singers have been finding ways to pay tribute to the Queen of Soul. Franklin inspired many artists and musicians to follow their hearts in their careers–including Ariana Grande, who has been open about her love for Franklin.
Grande was scheduled to appear on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon on Thursday to do a comedy skit, according to TMZ. However, with the death of Franklin making headlines early Thursday morning, The Roots and Fallon wanted to do something special to show their respects to the late, great singer.
Grande, at first, reportedly turned down the request to perform a song of Franklin’s–stating it would be too painful and emotional, as the two have a special relationship and have performed together in the past. However, Questlove of The Roots eventually convinced Grande to do it.
Ariana Grande was also having a pretty big night on Thursday, as her new album Sweetener was set to drop at midnight–August 17th. Jimmy Fallon took the time to thank her on Twitter for stepping up.
Thank you @ArianaGrande and @theRoots for putting together a beautiful opening of our show honoring our friend, the legendary Aretha Franklin. I know it’s a big night for Ariana - but this is what great people do when they know we need them to be there for us. #ArianaOnFallon— jimmy fallon (@jimmyfallon) August 17, 2018
And, many on Twitter absolutely loved her performance.
@ArianaGrande Wow! What a voice Ariana. That version of Aretha Franklin's, Natural Woman, was unbelievable and what a tribute it was to her. Thank you for that performance and I will never forget your Manchester tribute either. Proper artist!— ???????????????? ???????? ????????é????????????????™ (@bigreegs1985) August 17, 2018
ariana performing natural woman in tribute to aretha franklin is one of her best performances. i can’t believe how effortlessly she seems to sing this https://t.co/p3FxErb3no— ???????????????????????? ✧*:･ﾟ (@limitedboca) August 17, 2018
ariana grande’s tribute to aretha franklin is so beautiful she poured so much emotion and passion into this performance https://t.co/QyNk9SCfR8— ryan (@CYBERFUL) August 17, 2018
ariana grande's performance of aretha's natural woman made me shed some tears tbh ???? https://t.co/Qj87xxxxDd— mira ???? (@mirazabi) August 17, 2018
Grande also discussed the time Franklin called her–without warning–to send her some of her grandson (or nephew’s) music to listen to.
And, one fan even posted an interview with Aretha Franklin saying she would love to do a duet with Ariana Grande.
aretha franklin talking about ariana might be my favorite thing ever i love how supportive she was and how she acknowledged ariana as the insanely talented artist she is! i hope she finds peace. im so sad. pic.twitter.com/HTCaR6koPe— juan (@arianaindie) August 16, 2018
Clearly, Franklin touched the lives of many artists, and she will be incredibly missed.