Gladys Knight To Lead Aretha Franklin American Music Awards Tribute
The performance will focus on Franklin's gospel roots.
According to Rolling Stone and the Associated Press, Knight is just one of the big names who will grace the stage in order to salute the legendary Queen of Soul, who lost her battle with pancreatic cancer in August. Per Dick Clark Productions, Ledisi, Mary Mary, Donnie McClurkin and CeCe Winans will also be part of the tribute, and the musical director will be Rickey Minor. The tribute will focus on Franklin’s gospel upbringing and her album Amazing Grace, which was released in 1972.
Knight, who performed at Franklin’s highly-publicized funeral in Detroit, said that her friendship with Franklin intensified after she was diagnosed with cancer. The “Midnight Train To Georgia” singer is now cancer-free.
Franklin’s niece and executor of her estate Sabrina Owens says that this particular tribute “will go down as one of the best in American music.” During her lifetime, Franklin won six AMA's and hosted the ceremonies in 1976 and 1983.
Clive Davis is reportedly planning an all-star tribute of his own for the "Respect" songstress, which is tentatively taking place on Nov. 14 at New York City’s Madison Square Garden.