At the 2018 American Music Awards, the Queen of Soul got a more than fitting tribute.
Old friends such as Gladys Knight took the stage alongside Ledisi, Mary Mary, Donnie McClurkin, CeCe Winans and musical director Rickey Minor took the stage to take the Los Angeles crowd to church on Tuesday night. Knight entered following a video tribute to Franklin honoring her history with the American Music Awards before Knight herself gave a stirring rendition of “Amazing Grace.”
Ledisi, Mary Mary, McClurkin, Winans and Minor joined in on a tribute to Amazing Grace, Franklin’s 1972 gospel album which to this day remains the highest selling gospel album of all-time.
“I am so very honored to have known her since we were both little girls,” Knight said. “The fact that her music has been so pure for all of these years — she touched everybody with her music simply because she chose it with her heart, she didn’t choose anything she didn’t believe.
“I’m the same way in the industry, so we had those things in common, as well,” she added. “She deserves this recognition, this tribute, all of these things for being around for this long.”
Franklin died from pancreatic cancer on August 19. She was 76. She won six American Music Awards throughout her career and hosted the awards twice, in 1976 and 1983.