Warmup act DJ Khaled whipped the crowd at Ford Field in Franklin’s hometown into a frenzy by playing her iconic track “Respect.” Hours earlier, reports surfaced saying the 76-year-old Queen of Soul was seriously ill.
Beyoncé dedicated the whole show to Franklin.
“We love you and thank you,” she told the audience, per the Detroit Free Press. She described Franklin’s music as “beautiful.”
— Ford Field (@fordfield) August 14, 2018
Under doctors’ orders to rest and recuperate, Franklin canceled a raft of concerts earlier this year. The news of her worsened condition sparked an outpouring of love on Twitter from celebrities:
My prayers are with Aretha Franklin & her family during this difficult time 🙏🏾 LOOK BELOW @ what I tweeted at the top of the year we MUST CELEBRATE the Living Legends while they are here to see it. So many have given us decades of Timeless music…❤️ https://t.co/VVacLxcMSI
— Missy Elliott (@MissyElliott) August 13, 2018
Like people all around the world, Hillary and I are thinking about Aretha Franklin tonight & listening to her music that has been such an important part of our lives the last 50 years. We hope you’ll lift her up by listening and sharing her songs that have meant the most to you.
— Bill Clinton (@BillClinton) August 14, 2018
My Prayers to Aretha Franklin and her family! It’s been reported that the Queen of Soul is gravely ill!
Continued prayers to you! 🙏🏼 pic.twitter.com/2jCBi2VfM4
— La Toya Jackson (@latoyajackson) August 13, 2018
Praying for Aretha Franklin and her family right now! ❤️🙏🏽
— Ciara (@ciara) August 13, 2018