Aretha Franklin Covers That Honor The Musical Legend's Powerful Voice
On Thursday, news broke that Aretha Franklin died at age 76, and everyone is mourning the Queen of Soul. The Guardian reported that advanced pancreatic cancer had caused Franklin's death, and that the 18-time Grammy winner had battled illness since 2010. Of course, that didn't stop Franklin from singing, though, and the legend came out with her final album in 2017 called A Brand New Me which included renditions of her songs accompanied by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. Many of the songs from that album are considered soul standards, and tons of singers have performed renditions of Franklin's hits in the past. These Aretha Franklin covers honor the musical legend, and they prove that the Queen of Soul influenced so many performers who came after her.
It's hard to think of Aretha Franklin and not immediately burst out and sing the famous lyrics, "R-E-S-P-E-C-T, find out what it means to me." You probably first heard it early on in your life, whether it was at a wedding or in the car while your mom drove you home from school. "Respect" — and so many other songs of Franklin's — played a big part in so many people's lives. And the covers of Franklin's songs are just a testament to how iconic and powerful her hits are. Take a listen to some of the best renditions of Franklin's hits while you honor the late artist.
1. Demi Lovato Sings '(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman'
2. Jennifer Hudson Sings 'Respect'
Hudson sang the song when Tina Fey received the Mark Twain Prize at the Kennedy Center Honors in 2010.
3. Kelly Clarkson And Ledisi Sing 'Chain Of Fools'
It brought the house down, naturally.
4. Christina Aguilera Sang 'Think' During A Prank With Jimmy Fallon
This video aired on The Tonight Show, but Aguilera has performed "Think" before, including at a fundraiser held by Barack Obama.
5. Whitney Houston Sings '(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman'
If this doesn't give you chills, you probably don't have your sound turned up high enough. Houston performed the song in the '90s during her Bodyguard World Tour.
6. Bruno Mars Sings 'Respect' On 'The Ellen DeGeneres Show'
It's an acoustic version, too.
8. Mary J. Blige And Patti Labelle Sing 'Ain't No Way'
The song appeared on LaBelle's 2005 album, Patti LaBelle: Classic Moments.
9. Lea DeLaria's Cover Of 'Freeway Of Love'
DeLaria sang Franklin's song for the Cars 3 soundtrack.
10. Adele Singing 'Natural Woman' Is A Must-Listen
Aretha Franklin famously covered Adele's "Rolling in the Deep" for the former's 2014 album, Aretha Franklin Sings The Great Diva Classics, so it seems that the admiration went both ways for these two powerhouse vocalists.
11. Florence Welch, Yolanda Adams, And More Performed A Medley Of Aretha's Songs
The performance happened at the 2011 Grammys. Jennifer Hudson and Martina McBride also took part in it — plus Aguilera, again, and it was completely epic.
It's only right that so many artists have performed tributes to the Queen of Soul, and now there will likely be even more following the tragic loss.