Hill was one of many music superstars who assembled at the Greater Grace Temple in Franklin’s hometown of Detroit today (Aug. 31). The country star took the stage behind Franklin’s shining gold casket to perform in front of hundreds gathered to remember Aretha, who passed away of pancreatic cancer on Aug. 16 at the age of 76.
Sound issues unfortunately plagued the live stream of the private event, but it was clear that Hill put plenty of heart into the musical memorial to her late friend. Hill has been vocal about her longtime love for Franklin and how her music influence her own career.
“I’ve always listened to Aretha,” Hill told the Washington Post in 1996. “When you hear the drums and bass on my records, that’s where it comes from.”
In the hours after Franklin’s death, the country star shared a message and photo of her with Aretha on Instagram.
“GLORY, GLORY, GLORY to the ALMIGHTY!!! The choir of angels now have the greatest voice of all time to lead, praise and join in to sing before Jesus,” she wrote. “I wanted to share this photo because it shows just how soulful Aretha was without uttering a word. To say I was humbled to be in her presence would be an understatement.”
Hill and Franklin also recorded a duet together in 2011 but the track was never released. Miranda Lambert, Chris Stapleton and Eric Church are among the country stars who have recently paid tribute to Franklin by covering some of her most beloved songs.
Other artists set to attend and perform at the memorial service, which is still ongoing at the time of publishing, include Stevie Wonder, Jennifer Hudson, Fantasia, Yolanda Adams, Chaka Khan, Shirley Caesar, Ronald Isley, Jennifer Holliday and the Clark Sisters. Head over to our sister site, Rare, to see more from inside the memorial service.