What has been made most apparent during the two weeks since Aretha Franklin's death is that she has had a profound influence on young songstresses. Among them are Taylor Swift, who led a moment of silence for the late singer during her Detroit Reputation tour stop Tuesday night, going on to say that the Queen of Soul made the world a better place.
"Detroit, last week we lost an irreplaceable force," Swift said. "Aretha Franklin did so much for music. She did so much for women's rights. She did so much for civil rights," adding "We love you, Aretha."
The heartfelt dedication followed the announcement that fellow pop star Ariana Grande would be the latest entertainer to join the roster of performers set to honor Franklin at her funeral on Friday, Aug. 31.
The 25-year-old Grande was slated to promote her now No. 1 album Sweetener during an appearance on The Tonight Show the day of Franklin's death. Instead, she delivered an emotional rendition of Franklin's classic "(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman" and shared a story about having met the Queen of Soul when the two were invited by President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle to perform as part of the "Women of Soul" concert.
"She was like so cute and I was like, 'How are you a real person?'," Grande told Fallon, "It's an honor to have met her and we are going to celebrate her."
Grande will join luminaries Stevie Wonder, Jennifer Hudson, Ron Isley, Shirley Caesar, Chaka Khan, and others in performing at the funeral at the Greater Grace Temple in Detroit. Franklin's celebration of life will also include speakers Rev. Jesse Jackson, Smokey Robinson, Governor Rick Snyder, Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan, and former President Bill Clinton, who presented Franklin with the National Medal of Arts and Humanities in 1999.
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