The world has been united in mourning one of its most powerful voices in Aretha Franklin, and one singer recently found a touching way to invite fans into her own tribute. Taylor Swift honored the late Aretha Franklin during a concert on Aug. 28, and the heartfelt words she shared with her audience are just what was needed — a soothing balm in the wake of such a great loss.
Swift is currently in the midst of her Reputation Stadium Tour, and Tuesday's stop was in Detroit, Michigan at Ford Field, just miles away from where fans are flocking to pay their respects to Franklin after the 76-year-old's tragic death on Aug. 16 after a battle with pancreatic cancer. Before beginning the third act of her show, Billboard reports that Swift made a point of honoring the late, great musician in the city where she grew up and began her career. The 28-year-old paid tribute not just to the legacy Franklin left behind in the music industry, but also the paths she'd helped pave toward equality in all its forms. Standing spotlit in front of a dark blue background spangled with stars, Swift told her audience:
"Last week we lost an irreplaceable force. Aretha Franklin did so much for music, did so much for women's rights, did so much for civil rights. She was one of those people where no matter what you said, no matter what glowing positive thing you said about her, it would be an understatement. Words could never, ever describe how many things she did in her lifetime that made our world a better place. And this is her home."
Having shared that lovely testament to the Queen of Soul's impressive career, Swift then invited her audience to join her in a moment of silence, "so that every single one of us could reflect on our love and respect for her and everything she did in her life." Her backdrop turned to black, the spotlight was turned off, and as stars shot across the background behind her, Swift and the crowd of 50,000 people who had come to see her stood in near silence, quietly celebrating the late icon.
And luckily for fans who missed the moving moment, the whole powerful event was captured on camera by local sports anchor Brad Galli. The WXYZ Detroit Channel 7 reporter just happened to be in attendance that evening and shared the above video to his Twitter feed on Tuesday night.
As you can hear in the video, the crowd does get a bit restless before the full minute is up, but anything that can bring tens of thousands of fans at a pop concert to near silence is a really big deal. Swift found the perfect way to honor the ground-breaking performer, without attempting one of the iconic songs that only Franklin could ever do true justice to.
And having paid such a lovely tribute to the ground-breaking performer, Swift ended the moment of silence and moved on with her own music. "We love you, Aretha," she said in conclusion, before launching into her next song, letting her talent shine next to the glowing memory of Franklin's.