Alicia Keys, Celine Dion, John Legend Set For Aretha Franklin Grammy Tribute

The event will take place on 13 January 2019 at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles.

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Aretha Franklin photo by Michael Ochs Archives and Getty Images
Photo: Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

Aretha Franklin’s memory and musical legacy will be honoured with a tribute concert on 13 January at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, reports the Associated Press. Aretha! A Grammy Celebration For The Queen Of Soul is being mounted by senior music executive Clive Davis, a close friend of the Queen of Soul who oversaw her career revival at Arista Records in the 1980s. The news was announced this morning (28) by the Recording Academy, which oversees the Grammy Awards.

Among the artists due to to perform at the event are Alicia Keys, Patti LaBelle, Kelly Clarkson, Shirley Caesar, Celine Dion, John Legend, SZA, Janelle Monae, Common, BeBe Winans, Brandi Carlile, Chloe x Halle, H.E.R. and Alessia Cara. More stars will be added to the bill in due course.

The concert will be hosted by filmmaker and actor Tyler Perry and broadcast later in the year by CBS. Tickets go on sale today (28); Davis will co-produce the event with the Recording Academy’s longtime director of the Grammys show, Ken Ehrlich.

Franklin died from a pancreatic neuroendocrine tumour at the age of 76 last August. She was honoured at the American Music Awards in October, where her friend and contemporary Gladys Knight led a tribute inspired by Aretha’s much-loved 1972 album Amazing Grace. Ledisi, Mary Mary, Donnie McClurkin and CeCe Winans also took part in the gospel-flavoured homage.

“I am thrilled to have the Recording Academy and CBS as partners in this global tribute to my very dear friend  Aretha Franklin,” said Davis in a statement about the January 2019 show.  “Aretha was more than the Queen of Soul; she was a national treasure. This unique concert — featuring many of today’s greatest artists — will celebrate Aretha in a spectacular manner befitting her once-in-a-lifetime talent.”

“We’re approaching this show with extremely mixed feelings of sadness and joy,” added Ehrlich, “two qualities that over my 37 years of working with Aretha were often present. “Our hope is that we will be able to share the remarkable musical and cultural accomplishments of the Queen of Soul through her own words and music as well as through the performances of an amazing group of musical artists who will gather to celebrate her amazing musical heritage.”

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