Taylor Swift brought her critically-acclaimed reputation stadium tour to Ford Field in Detroit last night (Aug. 28). The significance of the location was not lost on the “Delicate” singer as she looked out into the crowd of 50,000 screaming fans and paid a heartfelt tribute to Aretha Franklin, who died on Aug. 16.
“Detroit, we lost an irreplaceable force,” Swift began. "Aretha Franklin did so much for music. She did so much for women's rights. She did so much for civil rights. She was one of those people where no matter what you said, no matter what glowing, positive thing you said about her, it would be an understatement. Words could never, ever describe how many things she did in her lifetime that made our world a better place. And this is her home."
Applause and screams rang out from the audience in reply and then the Grammy-winning superstar asked for the lights to be dimmed so they could all take a moment of silence to “reflect on our love and respect for her and everything that she did in her life." (Watch a fan-captured video of the tribute above).
Taylor Swift’s Detroit concert followed her hometown show in Nashville, Tennessee in which she brought out country music power couple Faith Hill and Tim McGraw as surprise guests to join her in singing her first published song, “Tim McGraw.” The Motor City show also took place on the first day of Aretha Franklin’s public viewing, which is also being held today (Aug. 29) at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History in Detroit.
Swift has the honor of sharing a very special moment with the late, great Queen of Soul. When she was being honored with her second Billboard Woman of the Year Award in 2014, she also reached a milestone 25th birthday the next day. She was surprised with a birthday cake and Aretha Franklin did the honor of singing “Happy Birthday” to her. Swift was visibly moved at that moment, as she absorbed the R & B legend’s musical gift. The pair of singers hugged and Franklin stood by Swift’s side as she made a wish and blew out the candles. (Watch the moment unfold below).
Taylor Swift will turn 29 on Dec. 13 this year and she’s enjoyed massive success with her chart-topping, record-breaking sixth studio album, reputation throughout 2018. For more on Taylor Swift, visit her artist page at AXS.