Aretha Franklin’s influence on music was profound during her lifetime, and since her death, pop stars have been opening up about the way the Queen of Soul shaped them as performers.
On Thursday, Alicia Keys and Ariana Grande both performed renditions of (You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman during radio and TV interviews.
Keys told Nicki Minaj while appearing on her radio show: “She’s so special.
“She was able to touch so many people, divinely – she touched me.”
Keys said she felt “sad, but really inspired and celebratory” following Franklin’s death. “Some of my greatest songs were inspired by hers that I loved,” she added.
Ariana Grande appeared close to tears when she opened Jimmy Fallon’s The Tonight Show with her performance.
According to TMZ, Grande was only supposed to be doing a comedy skit but later agreed to perform.
One of my GREATEST inspirations! The songs she gave us made us stronger and prouder. She empowered us!! We get to be inspired by her forever and now I’m going to write more songs in her honor 🏃🏽♀💨 🎹🎤 Thank you to the Queen, there are really no words! We love you forever!! pic.twitter.com/kHBoJQQf85
— Alicia Keys (@aliciakeys) August 16, 2018
Other stars joined in with the thousands of tributes on social media, including Lady Gaga, who tweeted: “What beautiful music and vocal artistry you gave to the world.
“You are a legend and your soul will never be forgotten. Rest in peace angel of music.”
— florence welch (@flo_tweet) August 16, 2018
Florence Welch posted a drawing of a lit candle and wrote: “Aretha Franklin, thank you for everything”.
Janelle Monae also shared a touching photo of herself and Aretha, calling her a “genius that walked this Earth.”
There was a GENIUS that walked this Earth . She was a BLACK WOMAN . She gave us the BLUE PRINT . She RAISED THE BAR . She LAID THE FOUNDATION and her name was QUEEN ARETHA FRANKLIN . We could not forget you if we tried . I am infinitely THANKFUL . #GENIUS #4everbowingtoyouQUEEN pic.twitter.com/z7QjHLW5wI
— Janelle Monáe, Cindi (@JanelleMonae) August 17, 2018
In a heartfelt Instagram message, Adele wrote: “I can’t remember a day of my life without Aretha Franklin’s voice and music filling up my heart with so much joy and sadness.
“Absolutely heartbroken she’s gone, what a woman. Thank you for everything, the melodies and the movements.”
Pop star Zara Larsson said Aretha was a hero of hers growing up and “an irreplaceable legend”.
Aretha Franklin was the only thing I wanted to listen to in the car growing up. I always asked my mom to put her on. Rest In Peace, Queen if soul. An irreplaceable legend!
— Zara Larsson (@zaralarsson) August 16, 2018
Mercury Prize-nominated singer-songwriter Nadine Shah added: “Eternal thanks to you Aretha Franklin. You taught me to sing and I will be forever grateful to you.”
Earlier in the week, Beyonce and Jay-Z performed in Franklin’s hometown of Detroit and paid respects by dedicating their entire show to her.
Before their opening song, Beyonce said: “This show is dedicated to Aretha Franklin. We love you and thank you.”