That Pres. Barack Obama was an Aretha Franklin fan, and close friend, was no secret.
The Queen of Soul sang ‘America’ (‘My Country ‘Tis of Thee) at his inauguration in 2009.
In 2011, Aretha was on hand to sing during a Labor Day event in Detroit. Pres. Obama delivered his Labor Day address at the gathering.
Aretha was there for the Justice Department ceremony honoring Eric Holder and sang a goodbye for the then-Attorney General in 2015. Holder cried during her performance. And Obama gave her a fist bump as opposed to his usual hugs.
In 2016, the White House celebrated International Jazz Day with a concert. Aretha performed.
Aretha attended the White House correspondent’s dinner, and she attended and performed at the Kennedy Center Honors; at that event, Obama cried as she sang ‘Natural Woman,’ an homage to honoree songwriter Carole King, whose song Aretha made into an iconic anthem.
Aretha was there to perform at the dedication of the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial October 16, 2011 with Pres. Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama, Vice President Joe Biden and and Dr. Jill Biden.