Grande, who was only scheduled to do a comedy skit on the show, sang her rendition of (You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman, accompanied by The Roots.
The Sweetener singer sat down with Jimmy Fallon after the performance and recalled memories of meeting Franklin while performing at the White House.
Grande also shared memories of a “one-time” phone call she received from Franklin about a family member wanting to get into the music business and sent the No Tears Left to Cry singer some samples.
“She goes, ‘Hi, it’s Aretha,’” Grande remembered. “I was like, ‘Franklin?’”
“I was like, ‘Oh my god, I’d be honoured to listen. Thank you for thinking of me. Text me the MP3 or something,’” Grande said. “And she was like, ‘Well, I don’t know how to do that, so I’m gonna send it to you.’ And four months later I got a package with a CD.’”
— The Tonight Show (@FallonTonight) August 17, 2018
WATCH BELOW: The latest on Aretha Franklin
Nicki Minaj kicked off her third episode of Beats 1’s Queen Radio on Thursday by honouring Franklin.
“It’s no secret she’s an icon — an icon of all icons,” Minaj said. “I don’t know anyone who she hasn’t inspired. It seems strange to wake up and hear she passed, even though she lived a long and fulfilled life. But still, we’ve lost one of our icons. Someone we’ve all been inspired by.”
Minaj continued: “I remember being in school learning Respect, and that felt like a mini national anthem for us. It’s so weird how everyone grew up with that song. What I love about the song is not just saying ‘give me respect,’ it’s demanding respect. I like strong and iconic women. She was unapologetically the Queen.”
— Beats 1 (@Beats1) August 16, 2018
Alicia Keys stopped by Minaj’s show to deliver a performance of Franklin’s (You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman.
WATCH BELOW: Alicia Keys performs ‘Natural Woman’ in honour of Aretha Franklin
“The world is poorer for her not being here,” Colbert said. “There is no Queen of Soul right now, and she can never be replaced.”
He remembered seeing Franklin perform live in 2015 at the Kennedy Center when she sang (You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman.
“As she started,” Colbert said, “I said to one of the stagehands next to me, ‘I wish I could have seen her when she was younger, when she was in full voice.’”
WATCH BELOW: Stephen Colbert pays tribute to Aretha Franklin
“Boy, am I stupid,” Colbert said and then pulled up the video from that evening at the Kennedy Center and let it play.
Fans of Franklin came together at New York City’s landmark Apollo Theatre and on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on Thursday to pay their respects to the Queen of Soul, singing along to her hits and sharing memories of her remarkable career.
WATCH BELOW: Fans dance to Aretha Franklin’s ‘Rock Steady’ outside Apollo Theatre
Billy Mitchell, the Apollo’s historian, said the landmark theatre would likely hold a tribute to one of its most beloved performers.
“We’re sad but we’re very grateful to have had someone like Aretha Franklin in our lifetime,” said Mitchell, known as “Mr. Apollo.”
WATCH BELOW: Aretha Franklin dead: Apollo Theatre honours Queen of Soul
Inducted to the Apollo’s Walk of Fame in 2010, Franklin performed there more than a dozen times, most recently in 2010. Her June 1971 “homecoming” show “drove fans to near-hysteria,” according to the theatre.
“Aretha’s legacy should be excellence in music,” Mitchell said. “There’s a reason why she’s queen. You don’t get to get that title by being mediocre.”
Fans gathered at Franklin’s star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, leaving flowers and candles and sharing tributes to the entertainer.
WATCH BELOW: People lay flowers at Aretha Franklin’s Hollywood Walk of Fame star
“Every time one of her songs comes on, everyone sings along, everyone knows the lyrics and … her songs give you that power, like that confidence to step out into the world and to feel, as a woman and as a black woman, like, that you are beautiful and that you can do it,” said Chelsea Monroe, 29.
Crystal Carpenter, 56, said she grew up listening to Franklin in the late 60s and early 70s.
“And my mom bought this album back in ‘71 and now I have it,” Carpenter said, holding a copy of Franklin’s Amazing Grace, which was recorded live in the Watts neighbourhood of Los Angeles.
“I love her gospel, secular, everything,” Carpenter said. “She was the queen.”
WATCH BELOW: Tribute grows at Aretha Franklin’s star on Hollywood Walk of Fame
Many other stars paid their respects to the late Franklin.
Rest in peace Aretha. ❤ pic.twitter.com/QT7HeY5SIf
— Patti LaBelle (@MsPattiPatti) August 16, 2018
Salute to the Queen. The greatest vocalist I've ever known. 🙏🏽🙏🏽🙏🏽🙏🏽🙏🏽 #Aretha
— John Legend (@johnlegend) August 16, 2018
Lucky enough to have seen Aretha live exactly once, and this was it.
Thank you for the music, we will be listening to you forever https://t.co/aMHIBFaTAs
— Lin-Manuel Miranda (@Lin_Manuel) August 16, 2018
— Carole King (@Carole_King) August 16, 2018
This photo was taken in 2012 when Aretha & I performed at a tribute celebration for our friend Marvin Hamlisch. It’s difficult to conceive of a world without her. Not only was she a uniquely brilliant singer,but her commitment to civil rights made an indelible impact on the world pic.twitter.com/Px9zVB90MM
— Barbra Streisand (@BarbraStreisand) August 16, 2018
Today we have lost one of the greatest. She will always be remembered and admired. Aretha Franklin, rest in peace. We love you.
— Ricky Martin (@ricky_martin) August 16, 2018
— Lena Waithe (@LenaWaithe) August 16, 2018
One of the highlights of my career was singing with #ArethaFranklin at The Tony Awards. It was an out of body experience for me. One of greatest singers of all time. You will be missed by all. https://t.co/L8dIIhyR9Y
— Hugh Jackman (@RealHughJackman) August 16, 2018
Goodbye Ms. Aretha. You were my idol. The greatest singer of all time. Every note you sang was pure and authentic and pierced our hearts with joy and pain and life.
— Idina Menzel (@idinamenzel) August 16, 2018
The moment I wake up, before I put on my make up, I say a little prayer for you
— Chance The Rapper (@chancetherapper) August 16, 2018
RIP Aretha Franklin what a voice x
— Liam Gallagher (@liamgallagher) August 16, 2018
Aretha was such a timeless inspiration to me and so many others, the ultimate queen, thank you for the gift of your voice, music and unshakeable soul 🙏🏼 pic.twitter.com/me3FXBY4WZ
— Christina Aguilera (@xtina) August 16, 2018
Let’s all take a moment to give thanks for the beautiful life of Aretha Franklin, the Queen of our souls, who inspired us all for many many years. She will be missed but the memory of her greatness as a musician and a fine human being will live with us forever. Love Paul pic.twitter.com/jW4Gpwfdts
— Paul McCartney (@PaulMcCartney) August 16, 2018
The loss of @ArethaFranklin is a blow for everybody who loves real music: Music from the heart, the soul and the Church. Her voice was unique, her piano playing underrated – she was one of my favourite pianists. pic.twitter.com/ug5oZYywAz
— Elton John (@eltonofficial) August 16, 2018
Mourning the loss today of @ArethaFranklin who shared her spirit and talent with the world. She deserves not only our RESPECT but also our lasting gratitude for opening our eyes, ears and hearts. Rest in eternal peace, my friend.
— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) August 16, 2018
I’m sitting in prayer for the wonderful golden spirit Aretha Franklin.
— Ms. Ross (@DianaRoss) August 16, 2018
It was a double thrill for me to perform on the stage of the Metropolitan Opera on my 85th birthday and have the Queen of Soul (and heart) Aretha Franklin singing with me….she will be missed by the world. pic.twitter.com/74VM9IYejI
— Tony Bennett (@itstonybennett) August 16, 2018
The choir of angels now have the greatest voice of all time to lead, praise and join in to sing before Jesus. I wanted to share this photo because it shows just how soulful Aretha was without uttering a word. To say I was humbled to be in her presence would be an understatement. pic.twitter.com/R2lxjXwDO8
— Faith Hill (@FaithHill) August 16, 2018
Rest In Peace, Queen pic.twitter.com/57rZh8vHza
— Kathy Griffin (@kathygriffin) August 16, 2018
“Looking out on the morning rain
I used to feel so uninspired
And when I knew
I had to face another day
Lord, it made me feel so tired
Before the day I met you
Life was so unkind
But you’re the key to
My peace of mind.”
Her voice/swagger was peerless.
Thank you, #ArethaFranklin pic.twitter.com/5gp0OP10Jf
— Ava DuVernay (@ava) August 16, 2018
My all-time favorite Aretha Franklin song. A gifted singer and musician. May she forever rest. https://t.co/dCsz9MwZs4
— Uzo Aduba (@UzoAduba) August 16, 2018
RESPECT. Her legendary voice came straight from God. Now her soul is with Him. Thank you Aretha. 💛💛 pic.twitter.com/Zhm1faBhX1
— Fergie (@Fergie) August 16, 2018
Here’s to the greatest voice of all ♥️ Thank you, Aretha Franklin pic.twitter.com/bzkwfWFWWl
— James Bay (@JamesBayMusic) August 16, 2018
We have lost the greatest singer of our time. As a songwriter, I know personally how meaningful a gifted interpreter of material can be.
No one can replace her.
– Billy Joel pic.twitter.com/7QZQ1IzSD8
— Billy Joel (@billyjoel) August 16, 2018
Aretha helped define the American experience. In her voice, we could feel our history, all of it and in every shade—our power and our pain, our darkness and our light, our quest for redemption and our hard-won respect. May the Queen of Soul rest in eternal peace. pic.twitter.com/bfASqKlLc5
— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) August 16, 2018
Watching Aretha Franklin perform at the White House, and on so many other occasions, made time stand still. @BarackObama and I are holding Aretha’s family in our hearts right now. She will forever be our Queen of Soul. pic.twitter.com/NhHsbKijpl
— Michelle Obama (@MichelleObama) August 16, 2018
Franklin passed away on Aug. 16. She was 76 years old.
Publicist Gwendolyn Quinn told The Associated Press through a family statement that Franklin passed Thursday at 9:50 a.m. at her home in Detroit.
The statement said “Franklin’s official cause of death was due to advanced pancreatic cancer of the neuroendocrine type, which was confirmed by Franklin’s oncologist, Dr. Philip Phillips of Karmanos Cancer Institute” in Detroit.
The family added: “In one of the darkest moments of our lives, we are not able to find the appropriate words to express the pain in our heart. We have lost the matriarch and rock of our family. The love she had for her children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews, and cousins knew no bounds.”
The statement continued: “We have been deeply touched by the incredible outpouring of love and support we have received from close friends, supporters and fans all around the world. Thank you for your compassion and prayers. We have felt your love for Aretha and it brings us comfort to know that her legacy will live on. As we grieve, we ask that you respect our privacy during this difficult time.”
Funeral arrangements will be announced in the coming days.
—With files from Reuters
© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.