Watch Faith Hill Preach the Musical Gospel at Aretha Franklin’s Funeral
Faith Hill brought a scorching gospel performance to Aretha Franklin's funeral on Friday (Aug. 31), leading a full choir in a spirited performance of "What a Friend We Have in Jesus."
Clad in black, Hill took the mic at the podium at Greater Grace Temple in Franklin's hometown of Detroit to lead the choir in a full-throated, let-it-all-rip performance of the gospel standard, taking the entire place to church as she stormed around the stage in front of dignitaries that included Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson and former President Bill Clinton. Watch behind Hill to catch Clinton beaming at her energetic performance in the video above.
Franklin died in Detroit on Aug. 16 after a battle with pancreatic cancer, and her funeral is a sendoff fit for the Queen of Soul. In addition to Hill, Stevie Wonder, Jennifer Hudson, Fantasia, Yolanda Adams, Chaka Khan and more A-list stars are slated to perform in tribute to the music legend, whose influence spans generations.
Hill acknowledged Franklin as one of her own primary influences in a 1996 interview with the Wahington Post, saying, "For me, the big influence wasn't Linda Ronstadt; it was Aretha Franklin. I've always listened to Aretha. When you hear the drums and bass on my records, that's where it comes from."
The country superstar performed Franklin's duet with George Michael, "I Knew You Were Waiting (For Me)," with Tim McGraw in 2017 as part of their Soul2Soul Tour, and she turned to social media to react to the news of Franklin's death, sharing a picture of herself with her idol.
"GLORY, GLORY, GLORY to the ALMIGHTY!!! The choir of angels now have the greatest voice of all time to lead, praise and join in to sing before Jesus," Hill wrote to accompany the picture. "I wanted to share this photo because it shows just how soulful Aretha was without uttering a word. To say I was humbled to be in her presence would be an understatement."
Aretha Franklin Year by Year: