Ariana Grande Pays Tribute to Aretha Franklin With Chilling Performance of “Natural Woman” on The Tonight Show

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Every once in a while, there is a music performance that takes your breath away. It makes the hairs on your arms stand up and makes the chills run through your body, and for a moment, the only thing that matters in the entire world is that song and the incredible feeling behind it.

On the same day that the world lost the legendary Aretha Franklin, vocal powerhouse Ariana Grande stepped on the stage of “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” to perform her rendition of one of the Queen of Soul’s most iconic hits – “(You Make Me Feel Like a) Natural Woman.”

And as far as we are concerned, it was perfection.

The pop star, who was set to appear on Thursday night (Aug. 16) show to promote her new album “Sweetener,” gave the performance of her life in tribute to the singer that has long served as an inspiration to her. Not only did the two meet at a White House function years ago, Franklin actually elicited the help of Grande when she had a family member looking to get into the music business.

“I was like, ‘Oh my God, I’d be honored to listen,” Grande recalls. “Thank you for thinking of me. Text me the MP3 or something,’ And she was like, ‘Well, I don’t know how to do that, so I’m gonna send it to you.’ And four months later I got a package with a CD.’”

Tricia Despres
Tricia Despres is a Chicago-based freelance writer covering music and entertainment for nearly twenty years. Her work has appeared in publications such as the Chicago Sun-Times, Advertising Age and various regional publications. A country music fan at her core, Despres has interviewed country greats such as Luke Bryan, Jason Aldean and Carrie Underwood through the years and thrives on telling the story behind the story. When she is not alongside her laptop, she is alongside her family - husband Paul and daughters Taylor and Amanda.

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