In this file photo taken on July 25, 2012, singer Aretha Franklin performs at the Nokia Theatre L.A. Live in Los Angeles, California. (AFP/Kevin Winter)
The CBS tribute to Aretha Franklin’s life and work, “Aretha! A Grammy Celebration for the Queen of Soul”, with guest appearances from everyone from Alicia Keys to Sza, will be recorded in front of a live Los Angeles audience on Jan. 13.
Filmmaker and actor Tyler Perry will host Los Angeles’s Shrine Auditorium concert that will see a parade of Grammy winners perform songs made famous by soul legend Aretha Franklin for a CBS show to be broadcast at some point later in 2019.
Franklin, who died at the age of 76 in August 2018, accumulated 18 Grammy Award wins over the course of her career, the third most Grammys won by a female artist; only R&B singer Beyoncé and modern bluegrass singer and musician Alison Krauss have received more to date.
Confirmed to perform during the Queen of Soul’s tribute are a mixture of established and recent Grammy winners and nominees.
Named by CBS are Alessia Cara, Alicia Keys, BeBe Winans, Brandi Carlile, Common, Celine Dion, Chloe X Halle, H.E.R., Janelle Monáe, Jennifer Hudson, John Legend, Kelly Clarkson, Patti Labelle, Shirley Caesar, Sza and Yolanda Adams.
“This special will celebrate Aretha Franklin’s numerous accomplishments as an entertainment icon, singer, songwriter, pianist, actress, and civil rights activist,” said Jack Sussman, CBS Entertainment’s executive vice president of Specials, Music and Live Events.
“Aretha had an incredible effect on humanity and music with her indomitable spirit and grace,” he added. “We look forward to honoring this music legend with numerous performers who all admire and respect the Queen of Soul.”
United States network CBS has broadcast the Grammy Awards show since 1973; the ceremony’s 2019 edition is scheduled for February 8. An air date is yet to be announced for the Aretha special.
Nominations were announced in early December 2018, with Kendrick Lamar leading the field on a total of eight nods, Drake on seven, and Brandi Carlile and Boi-1da on six apiece.
CBS has previously been involved in a number of Grammy-oriented TV specials celebrating musicians such as Stevie Wonder, Frank Sinatra and The Beatles, broadcasting them soon after each year’s Grammy Award ceremony.