Aretha Franklin will be honored with a special tribute at the 2018 American Music Awards, hosted by Tracee Ellis Ross. The award show will be streaming live on ABC from the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles on Tuesday, Oct. 9 at 8 P.M ET.
Soul and gospel stars Gladys Knight, Ledisi, Mary Mary, Donnie McClurkin and CeCe Winans will headline the tribute concert with a group performance paying respects to Franklin’s gospel album, “Amazing Grace.” Rickey Minor, composer, and producer, will be the musical director.
“We would like to express our sincere gratitude to the American Music Awards, Dick Clark Productions and American Music Awards producer, Larry Klein, for honoring Aretha Franklin with a musical tribute for this year’s broadcast,” said Sabrina Owens, Franklin’s niece and executor of the Franklin Estate. “We still remember when Aretha won her first American Music Award in 1976 for Favorite Female Artist – Soul/R&B, and throughout the years, she went on to win five more awards and we will never forget when she hosted the show; as well as her memorable performances. Dick Clark helped to revolutionize American music, and along the way, Aretha Franklin was part of that revolution,” she said in a statement.
Knight, a seven-time Grammy winner, has been vocal about how excited she is for the opportunity to pay tribute to The Queen of Soul.
“It’s a blessing to be a part of this moving musical tribute to honor our late queen and sister, Aretha,” Knight said. “She was an icon and visionary, radiated light and love through all of her life’s work, and touched all of us through her incredible gift of music.”
Minor also added, “Aretha was the voice of a generation. She transcended racial barriers by reaching into the depths of her soul and taking us on a journey with every note she sang. Her spirit will live forever in her music.”