Ariana Grande opened ‘The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon’ yesterday by delivering a special tribute performance in memory of Aretha Franklin.
Less than 12 hours after the soul icon’s death was announced, Grande began the show by joining The Roots for an emotional cover of ‘(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman’.
Later in the show, Grande joined Fallon to discuss her experiences of meeting the Queen of Soul on several occasions.
“I met her a few times. We sang at the White House and she was so sweet and so cute”, Grande explained.
“It’s an honour to have met her and we’re going to celebrate her.”
She also described how Franklin once called her to ask if she’d listen to some music created by a close relative.
“She called me one time and she goes ‘Hi, it’s Aretha!”, Grande explained.
“I was like ‘Franklin?’ I was like ‘how are you?’
— Fallon Tonight (@FallonTonight) August 17, 2018
After explaining how Franklin had asked her to listen to the music, Grande described it as an “honour”.
“I was like ‘Oh my god I’d be honoured to listen. Thank you for thinking of me. Text me or send me the MP3 or something’.
“She said ‘I don’t know how to do that, so I’m going to send it to you!’
“Four months later I got a CD! It was nice, it was great.”
Ariana’s appearance on Jimmy Fallon came only hours before the release of new album ‘Sweetener’, which hits shelves today.
In a four-star review, NME described it as a “left-field collection of pop bangers”.
“Ariana’s such as star that she can turn some of the album’s most left-field cuts into effortlessly charming pop gold”, wrote NME’s Douglas Greenwood.
“A year down the line, we’ll perhaps look back at this record and appreciate its quirks and nuances a little more. Until then, Ariana’s core fanbase are bound to find an instant, sugar-rush of pleasure in this fascinating side-step from an artist who – until now – has made her name by stomping down the traditional pop path.”