Ariana Grande Honors Aretha Franklin as Fans Complain Her Death Will 'Overshadow' Sweetener
"This hasn't happened since Princess Diana's death overshadowing Mother Teresa's," tweeted one fan
Grande, 25, shared a tribute to Franklin, who died Thursday morning of advance pancreatic cancer of the neuroendocrine type. She was 76.
In addition to a sweet black-and-white photo of herself with her arm around Franklin, Grande shared a video of the prodigy belting out “I Say a Little Prayer,” captioning it “forever.”
But while Grande honors the Queen of Soul, a faction of her fans are focusing their energies elsewhere, expressing their concerns that the timing of Franklin’s death will interfere with chart success when Grande’s new album, Sweetener, drops at midnight. (A rep for Ariana did not immediately return PEOPLE’s request for comment.)
“Damn imagine ariana grande being excited about her album release and the ARETHA FRANKLIN dies….” tweeted one fan. “This hasn’t happened since Princess Diana’s death over shadowing Mother Teresa’s.”
“Ariana Grande’s #Sweetener (Album) is expected to arrived [sic] this midnight,” another fan tweeted. “However her sales is under threat since the world of Music’s [sic] focus will be on ‘Aretha Franklin’ for days. I advice [sic] that She should delay that Album release if she really wants to sell.”
“By dying aretha franklin steals the spotlight from that ariana grande chick and madonna,” tweeted another.
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But not all of Grande’s fans were on the same page, with others admonishing those worrying about Franklin stealing Grande’s glory.
“ariana stans worried about aretha blocking sweetener omg imagine if stan twitter realized there was a world outside of charts,” tweeted one.
Another fan bemoaned the “bad coincidence” of Sweetener dropping right after Franklin’s passing.
“I don’t know if we’ll all be able to enjoy the music as much,” tweeted the fan. “Especially for Ariana, I know how much of an idol Aretha was to her.”
Franklin had struggled with her health for years, and a source told PEOPLE Monday that she had taken a turn for the worse, adding that her death was “imminent.”
On Thursday, the icon’s family released a touching statement addressing their loss.
“In one of the darkest moments of our lives, we are not able to find the appropriate words to express the pain in our heart,” they said. “We have lost the matriarch and rock of our family. The love she had for her children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews, and cousins knew no bounds.”
“We have been deeply touched by the incredible outpouring of love and support we have received from close friends, supporters and fans all around the world. Thank you for your compassion and prayers. We have felt your love for Aretha and it brings us comfort to know that her legacy will live on. As we grieve, we ask that you respect our privacy during this difficult time.”
Funeral arrangements will be announced in the coming days.