WATCH: Ariana Grande Performance at Aretha Franklin’s Funeral


Ariana Grande performs at Aretha Franklin's funeralAriana Grande performs at Aretha Franklin's funeral2018-08-31T16:41:58.000Z

With the funeral a little behind schedule, Ariana Grande sang Aretha Franklin’s “(You Make Me Feel Like) a Natural Woman” standing directly in front of Pres. Bill Clinton and the Rev. Jesse Jackson and other clergy.

The Queen of Soul died Aug. 16 from pancreatic cancer. Her funeral, dubbed a ‘Celebration of Life,’ featured the Aretha Franklin Orchestra and the Aretha Franklin Choir, her son Edward Franklin, Jennifer Holliday, Stevie Wonder, Chaka Khan, Jennifer Hudson, Ronald Isley and Faith Hill. And, Ariana Grande.

There was criticism right out of the gate about the length of her dress.

The AP reported, and it’s clear in the video, that Grande may have been unsure about the blocking for the stage, meaning where she was supposed to stand.

But if some questioned Grande’s decision to wear a short dress for the funeral, others said it was much ado about nothing.

Then, an an image popped up on social media that showed Greater Grace Temple Pastor Charles H. Ellis III’s embrace of Grande where some allege he was touching the singer’s breast.

“So lemme get this straight. Ariana Grande got “criticized” for her dress, got compared to a “Taco Bell” item AND got groped by a creepy looking pastor??? I’m disgusted and Aretha is LIVID.”

The AP reported that Grande did have an “awkward hug from one of the officiants at Franklin’s funeral.”

The exchange between Grande and Ellis however was when he told the singer he thought an Ariana Grande was a new menu item at Taco Bell.

Reaction to that remark by Ellis was one of surprise and some outrage. Ellis, who had his arm held tightly around the singer’s waist as he led her to the podium alleged he’d never heard of her and thought her name on the program was a menu item from the fast food Mexican-American chain. Some said his comment was more disrespectful than many charged her dress was.

He said he had to “brush up” as his 28-year-old daughter reminded him he’s “old at 60.”

“When I saw Ariana Grande on the program I thought that was a new something at Taco Bell.”

Ellis Thursday told TMZ that the funeral would’t be treated as a show.


Pastor Charles H. Ellis III Says Aretha Franklin's Funeral is NOT a Concert | TMZThe man in charge of Aretha Franklin's funeral, Bishop Charles H. Ellis III, wants her fans around the world to know one thing — get ready for chuuch. SUBSCRIBE: po.st/TMZSubscribe About TMZ: TMZ has consistently been credited for breaking the biggest stories dominating the entertainment news landscape and changed the way the public gets their…2018-08-30T23:42:02.000Z

“…my task is to make sure everyone sees this not as a concert, it’s not an event,” Ellis told TMZ. “…job is to lead a spiritual encounter” regardless of star stature.

Speakers at the funeral included family, Thomas Vaughn, Cristal, Victorie and Jordan Franklin, dignitaries and friends including Detroit’s mayor, Clive Davis, the Queen’s decades-long close friend and professional partner, filmmaker Tyler Perry, and former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder.

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