The Recording Academy is continuing its tribute series of legendary artists that have passed as it prepares for "Aretha! A Grammy Celebration" in honor of the Queen of Soul. The event will be recorded at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles on Jan. 13 and will be aired at some point in 2019. The celebration of Aretha Franklin's life will feature several high profile Grammy-winning names as well as nominees of the upcoming 61st Annual Grammy Awards.
Superstar Céline Dion has been announced as a performing guest paying tribute. Upon the news of Franklin's passing, she took to Twitter to express her sadness in both English and her native Québécois. "I'm saddened to learn that Aretha Franklin has passed. The most soulful and inspirational singer of our time," she wrote.
Dion has performed with Franklin most notably during VH1's 1998 original "Divas Live!" program where five of the biggest voices came together for one night. At the end of the program when all the performers joined together, Dion and Franklin battled it out to see who could hit the highest note.
Three-time Grammy winner Kelly Clarkson will also be paying tribute to the Queen of Soul. Clarkson often cites Franklin as one of her influences growing up and sang several of her songs on "American Idol" in 2002. In 2009 during the All I Ever Wanted Tour, she performed a cover of Franklin's "I Never Loved a Man" and in 2012, she performed a cover of the song on the Smoakstack Sessions Vol. 2 EP released alongside her greatest hits disc.
Dion, Labelle and Clarkson will also be joined by Jennifer Hudson, Alicia Keys, John Legend, BeBe Winans, Yolanda Adams, Shirley Caesar, Common and Alessia Cara. Nominees from the upcoming ceremony—Chloe X Halle, Janella Monáe, SZA and Brandi Carlile—will pay tribute to the legend.
In her six-decade career, Aretha Franklin has won 18 Grammy Awards. She's sold more than 75 million records across the globe and has 112 charted singles including 77 Hot 100 entries.
"Aretha! A Grammy Celebration" is presented by AEG Ehrlich Ventures, CBS and Clive Davis. Tickets are on sale now and can be exclusively purchased through AXS by clicking here.