Kelly Clarkson was among the performers at the second day of the iHeartRadio Music Festival in Las Vegas, and the “Voice” coach and “American Idol” winner used the opportunity to offer a heartfelt tribute to the late Aretha Franklin.
“I ain’t sang this song since ‘American Idol’,” Clarkson told the crowd as she introduced a high-intensity cover of the Queen of Soul’s 1967 classic “Respect”, adding, “She’s the greatest.”
“I love her, y’all,” Clarkson declared after completing the performance. “My whole life on TV started with that song.”
Following Franklin’s death in August, Clarkson honoured the late music icon on Twitter, writing that she “is the reason why I sing from that part deep inside of me that few could ever reach. She was my favourite and always will be.”
Despite being one of the festival’s headliners, Clarkson has had something of a love-hate relationship with the corporate entity that hosts the event.
Responding to an iHeartRadio tweet about her participation at the show, Clarkson fired a pointed barb complaining that the radio conglomerate hasn’t been playing her new music on their stations.
“I guess I’m cool enough to invite but not cool enough to play my record,” she tweeted on Thursday.