Aretha Franklin stole the show with her rousing and emotional performance of “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman,” in tribute to Carole King, at the Kennedy Center Honors in December 2015. In honor of the late singer, who died at age 76 on Thursday, August 16, Us Weekly looks back at the historic moment.
At the time, President Barack Obama shed a tear during her set. Franklin walked onto the stage wearing a full-length fur coat and placed her clutch on the piano as she sat down to play and sing for the audience.
As Franklin’s performance began, the camera panned to a visibly emotional Obama, who wiped a tear from the corner of his eye.
The Queen of Soul also delighted fellow viewers George Lucas, Gina Rodriguez and Rosie Perez, who sang along and smiled with delight.
And as the musical icon stood up for a final high note and took off her coat for the moment, everybody — literally everybody — went nuts.
Franklin had been battling cancer when she passed away in her Detroit home. “It is with deep and profound sadness that we announce the passing of Aretha Louise Franklin, the Queen of Soul,” Franklin’s family said in a statement via her longtime publicist, Gwendolyn Quinn. “Franklin, 76 years old, passed away on Thursday morning, August 16 at 9:50 a.m. at her home in Detroit, MI, surrounded by family and loved ones. Franklin’s official cause of death was due to advance pancreatic cancer of the neuroendocrine type, which was confirmed by Franklin’s Oncologist, Dr. Philip Phillips of Karmanos Cancer Institute in Detroit, MI.”
The statement continued: “In one of the darkest moments of our lives, we are not able to find the appropriate words to express the pain in our heart. We have lost the matriarch and rock of our family. The love she had for her children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews, and cousins knew no bounds.”
Look back at the amazing 2015 performance in the video above.
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