Beyoncé and Jay-Z dedicated their performance on Monday night to Queen of Soul Aretha Franklin, Billboard reports. Franklin is reportedly gravely ill. “We love you and thank you for all the beautiful music,” Beyoncé told the crowd.
Beyoncé and Franklin have had a tumultuous public relationship: The two clashed after the 2008 Grammys, at which Beyoncé remarked, “Give it up for the queen!” while introducing Tina Turner. Franklin, the “Queen of Soul,” wasn’t amused, and issued a press release saying, “I am not sure of whose toes I may have stepped on or whose ego I may have bruised.” Franklin later offered Beyoncé a qualified defense when the singer was accused of lip syncing at President Obama’s second inauguration, telling ABC News, “I thought it was really funny, but she did a beautiful job with the pre-record … next time I’ll probably do the same.” Franklin went on to say that at Obama’s first inauguration she had performed live, because, “I wanted to give people the real thing and pre-recording never crossed my mind.”
Beyoncé and Jay-Z, who are co-headlining the On the Run II tour, happened to be performing at Ford Field in Franklin’s home town of Detroit, making it particularly appropriate to dedicate the show to the legendary singer. Earlier in the evening, opening act DJ Khaled also honored Franklin by playing her signature hit, “Respect.” According to the Detroit Free Press, both salutes to Franklin were met with rapturous cheers from her home town crowd.