American Music Awards gave Aretha Franklin a proper tribute
After the MTV VMAs' Madonna debacle of a tribute to The Queen of Soul, the American Music Awards had nowhere to go but up in honoring Franklin. "This could have been bad," says Rich Juzwiak. "It could have been Imagine Dragons doing 'Freeway of Love.' It could have been Post Malone standing onstage and farting. It could have been Ariana Grande doing '(You Make Me Feel Like a) Natural Woman,' again. But instead, it was a group of furiously talented gospel and R&B acts—Gladys Knight, Donnie McClurkin, CeCe Winans, Ledisi, and Mary Mary—pouring their hearts into a selection of songs from Franklin’s landmark 1972 album Amazing Grace. If you told me yesterday that Mary Mary, a successful and respected gospel act that has had exactly one pop Top 40 hit of their own in their 20-year career, would close out this awards show that aired on a Big Three network and leave the audience on their feet and in rapture, I simply would not have believed you. I still can’t believe it. I can’t believe this!" ALSO: Why music director Ricky Minor mined "Amazing Grace" for his AMAs Queen of Soul tribute.
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