Friday, May 24, 2024

Beyonce, Taylor Swift, Ariana Grande Pay RESPECT to Aretha Franklin at Billboard Awards


It was quite an afternoon at the Billboard Women in Music Awards. Aretha Franklin received the first ever Icon Award. And before she did, Beyonce, Taylor Swift, and Ariana Grande, among others, came to pay her some R-E-S-P-E-C-T.

Beyonce– just stunning– came right over to the Queen of Soul’s table and just about bowed down. All of 55 Wall Street had eyes on these two as Aretha– wearing a periwinkle blue Chanel suit and sporting blonde highlighted hair– graciously received her. Taylor Swift followed suit. Ariana Grande and Jesse J each called out Franklin’s name from the stage.

Meanwhile, Clive Davis came to introduce Franklin, who received a thunderous standing ovation. Aretha got a chance to hear several of today’s singers live, too, since there were many performances. The best one was Hayley from Paramore with Joy Williams on a stunning acoustic number. Jesse J, whom I’d never seen before, has an amazing voice but a really terrible hit song. Ariana Grande is sort of a Mariah Carey in waiting. She also has a big voice with a lot of potential.

Stevie Wonder, by the way, sent a video for Aretha. He rewrote the lyrics of “Until You Come Back to Me,” his song that Franklin had a massive hit on back in 1972. Very clever stuff from Stevie.


Photo c2014

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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