Music Notes

Ariana Grande And The Roots Perform A Tribute To Aretha Franklin On 'The Tonight Show'

Watch her sing "Natural Woman."

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Ariana Grande appeared on The Tonight Show Thursday night to promote her new album Sweetener, but she ended up opening the show with a beautiful tribute to another artist — Aretha Franklin. The Queen of Soul passed away this week at age 76 after a battle with cancer.


Host Jimmy Fallon introduced Grande, who was backed up by The Roots on a cover of Franklin's hit "(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman." As expected, the performance was stunning, and Fallon thanked the singer on Twitter for helping to put together the "beautiful opening." He added, "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."

Following the news of Franklin's passing, Grande tweeted a sweet photo of herself with the singer, along with several heart emojis. She told Fallon during her interview Thursday that she met Franklin "a few times," including when they both performed at the White House.

"It's an honor to have met her, and we're gonna celebrate her," Grande said, before sharing a funny story about the time Franklin called her and asked if she would listen to her young relative's music. Grande suggested she text her an MP3 file, but Franklin said she didn't know how to do that, so she sent a package with a CD instead.

Watch Grande's full performance with The Roots in the video below:


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