Gladys Knight Will Lead Aretha Franklin Tribute at 2018 American Music Awards
Aretha Franklin will be remembered with a tribute worthy of her legacy as the Queen of Soul.
Gladys Knight will lead a performance at the 2018 American Music Awards on Oct. 9 to pay homage to Franklin, who died on Aug. 19 of advance pancreatic cancer of the neuroendocrine type. She was 76.
The awards show also announced Ledisi, Mary Mary, Donnie McClurkin, CeCe Winans and musical director Rickey Minor as part of the musical tribute.
“When I heard some of the initial ideas for the tribute, I knew without a doubt that this tribute will go down as one of the best in American music,” Sabrina Owens, Franklin’s niece and the executor of her estate, told the Associated Press, which also reported that the AMAs performance will focus on Franklin’s gospel roots and her 1972 album, Amazing Grace.
Knight also performed “You’ll Never Walk Alone” at Franklin’s funeral in Detroit.
Reminiscing about Franklin’s legacy, Knight previously told PEOPLE Now, “She had a voice that was god given and she used it to the best of her ability and to all kinds of heights.”
The “Midnight Train to Georgia” singer added, “With Aretha, she didn’t really know what she had. She was kind of shy.”
Knight also shared a touching tribute to the fallen icon on social media following Franklin’s passing.
“Aretha, your music set a standard for every single lady in this industry to rise to. You have touched minds, hearts and spirits, including my own,” she wrote. “I pray you have a smooth journey Ree Ree and hopefully I’ll get to sing with you in the Heavenly choir. Love you #QueenOfSoul.”