Aretha Franklin was on the minds of some contemporary hitmakers on Monday (Aug. 13) in her home town of Detroit.
With Franklin widely reported to be in critical condition and near death, Beyonce and Jay-Z started their On The Run II Tour performance at Ford Field by dedicating the show to Franklin, with Beyonce noting that, “We love you and thank you for all the beautiful music.”
Franklin and Beyonce, of course were once at odds after the 2008 Grammy Awards, where Beyonce referred to Tina Turner as “the Queen;” Franklin, the widely acknowledged Queen of Soul, took exception to that in a written statement afterwards, calling it “a cheap shot for controversy” — though she did conclude the statement with “love to Beyonce anyway.” Less than a year later, however, Franklin came to Beyonce’s defense when the latter was criticized for lip-syncing the National Anthem at President Barack Obama’s first inauguration.
Earlier in the evening on Monday Dj Khaleed included a quick tribute to Franklin during his set, asking the crowd of about 44,000 to “send some love to Aretha Franklin before spinning her iconic hit “Respect.”
Franklin, 76, has been in declining health for the past couple of years and had retired from touring. She last performed Nov. 7 at an Elton John AIDS Foundation event in New York City. Her family has asked for “prayers and privacy” during this time.