Patti LaBelle, Jennifer Hudson, more honor Aretha Franklin at Grammys tribute concert

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

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What You Need To Know: Aretha Franklin

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

More than a dozen singers gathered in Los Angeles Jan. 13 for a tribute concert to the late icon Aretha Franklin.

The Associated Press reported that the taped concert, "Aretha! A Grammy Celebration for The Queen of Soul," included performances by Alicia Keys, Celine Dion, Patti LaBelle, Shirley Caesar, Kelly Clarkson, Chloe X Halle, H.E.R., John Legend and BeBe Winans and Jennifer Hudson, who will play Franklin in an upcoming biopic.

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Grammy.com reported Fantasia was joined by Rob Thomas for a duet of "I Knew You Were Waiting (For Me)," the singer's 1986 song with George Michael. Fantasia also joined Andra Day, Brandi Carlile and Alessia Cara to perform "(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman."

H.E.R. performed one of her favorites of Franklin's covers, "I Say A Little Prayer," and LaBelle performed Franklin's 1970 song, "Call Me" to a standing ovation.

Patti LaBelle performing at the "Aretha! A Grammy Celebration For The Queen Of Soul" tribute Jan. 13 in Los Angeles.
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Patti LaBelle performing at the "Aretha! A Grammy Celebration For The Queen Of Soul" tribute Jan. 13 in Los Angeles.

Credit: Richard Shotwell

Credit: Richard Shotwell

Smokey Robinson spoke to concertgoers about his longtime friend and Detroit neighbor.

“She was the girl next door,” he said of the singer, who died last year at 76 of pancreatic cancer. “In fact, she was the girl right around the corner who became a lifelong friend, who became a musical icon.

“Before Aretha passed away, she was my longest living neighborhood friend,” he said.

Smokey Robinson at the "Aretha! A Grammy Celebration For The Queen Of Soul" tribute Jan. 13 in Los Angeles.
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Smokey Robinson at the "Aretha! A Grammy Celebration For The Queen Of Soul" tribute Jan. 13 in Los Angeles.

Credit: Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP, File

Credit: Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP, File

The Grammys tribute also included a montage of quotes and messages about Franklin from Willie Nelson, Barbra Streisand, Tony Bennett, Quincy Jones and former President Barack Obama.

Music mogul Clive Davis, who executive produced many of Franklin's albums, also spoke at the tribute.

"Aretha was more than the Queen of Soul," Davis said before the concert. "She was a national treasure."

“Aretha! A Grammy Celebration For The Queen Of Soul” airs March 10 at 9 p.m. EST on CBS.

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