Ariana Grande Sings ‘Natural Woman’ In Emotional Tribute To Aretha Franklin 😭

The Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin died on Thursday August 16th at 9:50am at the age of 76. According to a piece in USA Today, it was due to “advance pancreatic cancer of the neuroendocrine type.”

As the nation mourned both online and off, The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon took to the airwaves with an impromptu opening tribute performance honoring the legendary singer performed by Ariana Grande.  

The 25-year-old Grande, who was previously scheduled to appear to celebrate the release of her new album Sweetener, sang Franklin’s 1967 version of (You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman.

Backed up by The Roots and standing off to one side of the main stage with the band in a low-lit set edged in blue accent lights, the diminutive chanteuse clothed demurely in all black, gave a performance that was both powerful and yet designed to put the focus and respect squarely on Franklin’s name and contributions instead of on her own.

A big fan of the iconic singer, this isn’t the first time the Grande has belted out the tune co-written by Carole King, Gerry Goffin, and Jerry Wexler but made  famous by Franklin. 

As you can see below, Grande fans had the receipts and posted a video clip of the pop star when she was just 15-years-old but feeling just as natural  a woman then as she did on The Tonight Show last night.

Grande was also fortunate enough to have the opportunity to meet with Franklin on several occasions, even recounting a phone call she had with the legendary singer  to Fallon:


Fans also remembered Franklin’s visits to The Tonight Show:

And many were grateful to Fallon, The Roots, and Grande for taking the time to honor and recognize the importance of Franklin’s contributions in the history of modern popular music.

Here’s the emotional performance: 

Variety reports that the Grande/Roots collab performance garnered a standing ovation from The Tonight Show audience:

H/T: YouTube, USAToday, Twitter