Before her official announcement of retirement, Franklin blessed the stage for the last time in June 2017 in her native Detroit at the city’s inaugural Detroit Music Weekend. After performing a medley of fan favorites on Aretha Frankin Way and receiving the key to the city of Detroit, the singer asked the gathered crowd to keep her in their prayers.
Her hometown appearance capped off a laundry list of iconic performances, including covering Prince’s “Purple Rain” at the 2016 White House Jazz Celebration, her five-minute-long rendition of the National Anthem before a Minnesota Vikings and Detroit Lions football game and a show-stopping performance of “Natural Woman” for the 2015 Kennedy Center Honors. In Aug. 2018, Beyonce dedicated her Detroit concert to the late singer, and Clive Davis is reportedly planning an All-Star Tribute Concert for her at New York’s Madison Square Garden. Aretha Franklin and her one-of-a-kind voice will truly be missed.
Watch parts of her final performance below.