The 25-year-old singer will join the likes of Stevie Wonder, Jennifer Hudson, Faith Hill, Shirley Caesar and Chaka Khan as they all take to the stage individually to pay a musical tribute to late songwriter – who sadly passed away on August 16 – at her funeral held at the Greater Grace Temple in Detroit on Friday (31.08.18).
The ‘Bang Bang’ hitmaker was chosen as one of the performers because Aretha had met her and praised her when they performed at the White House in 2014 for then-President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama.
Aretha’s representative Gwendolyn Quinn has admitted the late singer’s family were touched by Ariana’s performance of her hit ‘(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman’ shortly after her passing two weeks ago.
Ariana said at the time: “I met her a few times. We sang at the White House and she was so sweet, she was so cute. It’s an honour to have met her.”
Ariana added that the legendary singer also asked her to take a listen to some music recorded by either her “nephew or her grandson”.
She said: “She called me one time, one time only, and she goes ‘Hi, it’s Aretha,’ and I’m like, ‘Franklin?! I don’t remember because it was Aretha Franklin on the phone and I didn’t know what was happening.
“I was like: ‘Oh my god, I’d be honoured to listen. Thank you for thinking of me. Just text me the MP3 or something.’ And she was like, ‘Well, I don’t know how to do that so I’m just gonna send it to you.’ And then like four months later I got a package with a CD. But it was nice. It was great.”
Aretha’s family announced earlier this month in a statement that the legendary soul star had tragically lost her battle with pancreatic cancer at the age of 76.