Ariana Grande Performs 'Natural Woman' at Aretha Franklin Funeral as Presidents, Celebrities Look On

Aretha Franklin's funeral was held on Friday, Aug. 31 in Detroit, and numerous celebrities were on hand to help honor the late legend.

One of those celebrities was Ariana Grande, who was asked to perform Franklin's song "(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman" after singing the song in tribute to Franklin on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon earlier this month.

In typical fashion, Grande delivered a soulful and powerful performance, leaving those in attendance, including former President Bill Clinton and her ex-boyfriend Big Sean, in awe. Grande donned a black dress and high ponytail for the performance.

After Grande's performance, Bishop Charles Ellis III joked that his unfamiliarity with Grande caused him to do a double-take when he saw the day's program.

"I've got to apologize because I've got to brush up," he said. "My 28-year-old daughter tells me, 'Dad, you are old at 60.' When I saw Ariana Grande on the program, I thought that was a new something at Taco Bell. Girl, let me give you all the respect"

"Thank you," Grande said after a round of applause. "We love you, Aretha."

The "God Is a Woman" singer attended the event with her fiancé, Pete Davidson, and her mom, Joan Grande, and Ariana and Davidson snapped a few photos with Clinton and his wife, Hillary Clinton.

Other performers at the funeral included Faith Hill, Stevie Wonder, Chaka Khan, Jennifer Hudson, Yolanda Adams, Fantasia, Ronald Isley, Franklin's son Edward and multiple gospel singers honoring Franklin's career beginnings.

Clinton spoke at the funeral, as did music executive Clive Davis, Smokey Robinson, reverends Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton, Cicely Tyson, Michigan Governor Rick Snyder and Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan.

After Franklin's death, Grande used social media to pay tribute to the icon, sharing a snapshot of the two together along with heart emojis.

She also spoke about Franklin during her appearance on The Tonight Show.

"We sang at the White House and she was so sweet and she was like so cute and I was like, 'How are you a real person?'" Grande recalled. "It's an honor to have met her and we are going to celebrate her."

Franklin passed away on Aug. 16 at age 76 from advanced pancreatic cancer and will be remembered as one of the most influential and iconic singers of all time, with her decades-long career earning her the moniker "The Queen of Soul."


Photo Credit: Getty / Angela Weiss