Gladys Knight performs moving gospel tribute to Aretha Franklin at the AMAs

Maria Varela
Oct 11, 2018
11:50 A.M.
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Gladys Knight delivers an emotional tribute to her late good friend Aretha Franklin in a star-studded medley at the 2010 American Music Awards.

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Gladys Knight silenced viewers at the 2018 American Music Awards with her soulful tribute to the late Aretha Franklin. Knight unearthed Franklin’s gospel roots and delivered a stunning rendition of “Amazing Grace” in an all-star medley.   

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"It's a blessing to be a part of this moving musical tribute to honor our late queen and sister, Aretha,"Knight said prior to her performance. 

"She was an icon and visionary, radiated light and love through all of her life's work, and touched all of us through her incredible gift of music."

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The legendary singer began her piece which came at the show’s end by tenderly belting out lyrics as tunes from a piano and organ accompanied her. Other singers including Ledisi, Mary Mary, Donnie McClurkin and CeCe Winans joined her later with their own spiritual renditions of “Climbing Higher Mountains,” “Mary, Don’t You Weep,” and “How I Got Over.”

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Knight was also a major presence during the Queen of Soul’s funeral where she performed “You’ll Never Walk Alone.” A close friend of Franklin’s, Knight also previously shared she was diagnosed with cancer too. There was confusion at the time of Franklin’s death when reports suggested Knight was battling pancreatic cancer-the same kind Franklin died of. However, she clarified this soon after by saying she had breast cancer and is now cancer-free.

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76-year-old Franklin died in August after battling the disease which she kept secret for a long time. It was only towards her final days that news of her deteriorating health emerged as her family asked for prayers. In March, the singer canceled her performances upon doctors’ orders after she announced her intention to retire last year. 

Franklin leaves behind a remarkable legacy including being the first woman to be inducted to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. 

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