Then-president of the United States, Barack Obama, couldn’t hold back his tears when the late Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin, paid tribute to Carole King.
Several people were honored At the Kennedy Center Honors’ event held in Washington in 2015. While the words shared to tribute every person were touching, one of the presentations was the most moving of all.
It was Franklin’s homage to Carole King, the most successful female songwriter of the latter half of the 20th century in the USA. Among her accolades, she has written or co-written 118 pop hits on the Billboard Hot 100 between 1955 and 1999.
Franklin sang “(You Make Me Feel) Like a Natural Woman,” a tune written by King, and everybody in the room, including Obama, were amazed by the performance.
That song became a breakout hit for Franklin in 1967, and it reached number 8 on the Billboard Hot 100. Apart from that, it became one of Franklin’s signature songs.
During her presentation, King, then 73 years old, seemed to be both stunned and happy to listen to Franklin’s rendition of the song, and she even sang the chorus along from her seat of honor next to Obama.
At some point, King was close to tears, but she managed to keep them in. Obama couldn’t, though, as he was captured clearing his eyes a couple of times.
When Franklin stood up from the piano she was playing, the audience gave her a standing ovation as the Queen of soul belted out the high notes close to the song’s end.
As Telegraph reported, King was not the only person honored during the annual ceremony. Filmmaker George Lucas, actress and singer Rita Moreno, conductor Seiji Ozawa, and Broadway star Cicely Tyson were also recognized.
On August 16 this year, the Queen of Soul passed away after a long battle against pancreatic cancer. The former POTUS took to Twitter to mourn her death. In it, the man admitted that Franklin helped define the American experience as people could feel the history in her voice.
Obama’s Office also released a statement wherein they shared a couple of details about Franklin and admitted that people were graced with her voice.
"Aretha may have passed on to a better place, but the gift of her music remains to inspire us all. May the Queen of Soul rest in eternal peace,” added Obama in the statement.
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