Kelly Clarkson, Jennifer Hudson, And More To Perform In Aretha Franklin Tribute Special

Aretha Franklin, the late Queen of Soul, will be honored ahead of the 2019 Grammy Awards.

On Thursday, Dec. 27, 2018, it was announced that Kelly Clarkson, Jennifer Hudson, John Legend, Céline Dion, and more are set to perform in a tribute concert special called Aretha! A Grammy Celebration for the Queen of Soul early next year, E! News reports.

Hosted by filmmaker Tyler Perry, other performers will include the likes of Yolanda Adams, Shirley Caesar, Alessia Cara, Common, Alicia Keys, Patti LaBelle, BeBe Winans, Brandi Carlile, Chloe X Halle, H.E.R., Janelle Monáe, and SZA. The televised event, which will feature renditions of a number of Franklin's biggest hits, will be presented by CBS, the Recording Academy, AEG Ehrlich Ventures, and Clive Davis.

As Jack Sussman, the CBS Exec VP of Specials, Music, and Live Events, released in a statement, "This special will celebrate Aretha Franklin's numerous accomplishments as an entertainment icon, singer, songwriter, pianist, actress and civil rights activist" (via Variety). He added, "Aretha had an incredible effect on humanity and music with her indomitable spirit and grace. We look forward to honoring this music legend with numerous performers who all admire and respect the Queen of Soul."

Meanwhile, Davis stated, "Aretha was more than the Queen of Soul; she was a national treasure. This unique concert — featuring many of today's greatest artists — will celebrate Aretha in a spectacular manner befitting her once-in-a-lifetime talent."

As Nicki Swift previously reported, Franklin died following a battle with pancreatic cancer on Aug. 16, 2018. She was 76 years old. Following her untimely passing, a number of celebrities mourned the loss on social media — showcasing the undeniable and unforgettable mark her life and music left on the music industry. 

At the time of this writing, the CBS air date for Aretha! A Grammy Celebration for the Queen of Soul has not yet been revealed. However, according to USA Today, the live event will be taped on Sunday, Jan. 13, 2019, at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles.