Aretha Franklin paused her gig in New York on Saturday night to remember her late friend Whitney Houston, hours after pulling out of a performance at the star’s funeral.
The veteran singer was due to sing at Houston’s star-studded memorial service in New Jersey on Saturday, but she cancelled her appearance after suffering foot and leg problems.
She fulfilled her commitment to perform at the Radio City Music Hall in Manhattan later that evening, and near the beginning of the show she acknowledged the day’s sad events, telling the audience, “I hope that there’s something I will sing, or I have sung, that will lift all of our heavy hearts today.”
Later in the concert, she stopped to honour the memory of her late friend.
Franklin took a seat at a piano to play Houston’s signature song I Will Always Love You and she told the crowd she wanted to acknowledge Houston’s “homecoming”, calling her by her nickname, “Nippy”.
She told the audience, “She was a very fine young lady… one of the best, greatest singers. She was giving, gave so much of herself… God bless you, Nippy. We’ll always remember.”