(REUTERS – February 18) Aretha Franklin belted out “Higher and Higher” and gave a soulful rendition of her 1972 hit “Day Dreaming” on Friday (February 17) at New York’s Radio City Music Hall.
The Queen of Soul was there to perform her greatest hits and some fan favorites, but inserted a special tribute in honor of the late singer Whitney Houston, who died in a Beverly Hills hotel room almost a week ago on the eve of the music industry’s Grammy Awards.
“I would like to acknowledge the passing of one of the finest and greatest singers that ever stood behind a microphone. I speak of none other than Miss Whitney Elizabeth Houston,”Franklin said as she sat off to the side of the stage.
“We will always remember her kindness, her grace, her smile and her dynamic performances, but she has moved on up just a little bit higher now.”
Franklin then sang Dolly Parton’s “I Will Always Love You,” which was made popular by Houston, whose soaring voice made it a hit.
The death of the beloved pop star has stunned the music world, her family and her fans.
Franklin is Houston’s Godmother and is slated to perform at her funeral on Saturday, February 18 at the New Hope Baptist Church in Newark, New Jersey, along with Dionne Warwick and Stevie Wonder.
The 18-time Grammy-winner will perform a second night at Radio City, on February 18.