Aretha Franklin pays tribute to Whitney

Compcov Whitney Houston 1963 - 2012

Aretha Franklin has paid tribute to Whitney Houston after being forced to miss her funeral yesterday (February 18).

The soul legend was scheduled to perform at Houston’s service in New Jersey, but declined to appear due to “terrible leg spasms and locked muscles”.

Franklin did, however, perform a concert at the Radio City Music Hall in New York that evening, where she spoke lovingly of her late goddaughter.

Aretha Franklin (left) and her god daughter, the late Whitney Houston (right)

“I hope that there’s something I will sing, or I have sung, that will lift all of our heavy hearts today,”WENN quotes her as telling the audience.

After changing from a glittery green and silver caftan into a caftan of white and gold, Aretha settled behind the piano and sketched out the words and melody to “I Will Always Love You.” Softening Houston’s all-time power ballad into a light, gospel reverie, Franklin paused to acknowledge the “homegoing” of “Nippy,” Houston’s nickname: More formally, “Miss Whitney Elizabeth Houston.”

“She was a very fine young lady” and “one of the best, greatest singers,” said Franklin, breaking back and forth between melody and spoken word, behind song and sermon. “She was giving, gave so much of herself.”

“God bless you, Nippy,” she concluded. “We’ll always remember.”