Aretha Franklin performs onstage at the Elton John AIDS Foundation Commemorates Its 25th Year And Honors Founder Sir Elton John During New York Fall Gala on November 7, 2017 in New York City.
Photo: Dimitrios Kambouris (Getty Images)

The Queen of Soul is getting a night of honor, thanks to the Recording Academy.

According to Deadline, Tyler Perry will be hosting Aretha! A Grammy Celebration for the Queen of Soul, a concert specially designed to honor the late Aretha Franklin.


“Aretha Franklin’s reign as the ‘Queen of Soul’ is incomparable and undisputed,” Neil Portnow, President/CEO of the Recording Academy, remarked. “For more than six decades, her extraordinary artistic achievements coupled with her passionate dedication to her philanthropic work—which ranged from children’s and artists’ issues to civil rights activism—served as a testament to her power, majesty and genius. These gifts positioned her as a true cultural icon, and the Recording Academy is honored to celebrate her inspirational legacy.”

Let’s get to the most important part: the lineup.

Slated performers include SZA, John Legend, Common, Chloe x Halle, H.E.R., Janelle Monáe, Yolanda Adams, Shirley Caesar, Jennifer Hudson, Alicia Keys, Patti LaBelle, BeBe Winans, Brandi Carlile, Celine Dion, Alessia Cara and Kelly Clarkson.


I’m especially excited about Chloe x Halle because their voices are exquisite and their harmonizing is impressive. I’m always here for John Legend’s warbling and piano showboating. I’m also looking forward to SZA pronouncing the letters to R-E-S-P-E-C-T in her wonky accent, followed by a reaction shot of Rev. Al Sharpton recreating the Wee-Bey gif.


JHud will surely bring the house down with acoustics louder than an airplane full of ear-popping babies and a bagpipe band. Alicia will likely caterwaul into a note that doesn’t exist for good measure. Everyone will break out in a shout once Yolanda, Shirley and BeBe hit the stage.


Common will perform “Chain of Fools” via spoken word. Tyler Perry will be the MC, act as stagehand, usher people to their seats, sell concessions, present award statuette, and perform a special rendition of “A Natural Woman” as Madea.

Let us pray.

“I am thrilled to have the Recording Academy and CBS as partners in this global tribute to my very dear friend Aretha Franklin,” noted Clive Davis, who is serving as an executive producer of the show. “Aretha was more than the Queen of Soul; she was a national treasure. This unique concert— featuring many of today’s greatest artists—will celebrate Aretha in a spectacular manner befitting her once-in-a-lifetime talent.”


The Aretha! A Grammy Celebration for the Queen of Soul concert will be taped live on Jan. 13, 2019, at 6 p.m. at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles and will air later in the year on CBS.

Staff Writer, Entertainment at The Root. Sugar, spice & everything rice. Equipped with the uncanny ability to make a Disney reference and a double entendre in the same sentence.

Share This Story

Get our newsletter