Gladys Knight, Ledisi, Mary Mary, & More to Honor Aretha Franklin at the 2018 AMAs

The artists will honor the Queen of Soul with a moving tribute by performing songs from her iconic gospel album, Amazing Grace.

Aretha Franklin performing during the 2017 Tribeca Film Festival.

2018 was a rough year for many reasons; one of them being the passing of the Queen of Soul Aretha Franklin.

This October, the American Music Awards will pay homage to Franklin and her impact on the music industry by organizing an all-star lineup of soul and gospel legends for the special tribute. Gladys Knight, Ledisi, Mary Mary, Donnie McClurkin and CeCe Winans, friends of the late, luminary singer/songwriter, will all take the AMAs stage for a moving tribute honoring Franklin’s gospel roots and iconic gospel album, Amazing Grace. Consulting Producer for the tribute is the Emmy Award® winning music director, composer and producer, Rickey Minor.

2018 American Music Awards: Complete Coverage

“We would like to express our sincere gratitude to the American Music Awards, dick clark productions and American Music Awards’ producer, Larry Klein, for honoring Aretha Franklin with a musical tribute for this year’s broadcast,” said Sabrina Owens, Franklin’s niece and executor of the Aretha Franklin Estate. “Throughout its 46-year history, the American Music Awards has continued to stand by the music and honor the best in talent and the greatest in popular music culture. When I heard some of the initial ideas for the tribute, I knew without a doubt that this tribute will go down as one of the best in American music.”  Owens adds, “We still remember when Aretha won her first American Music Award in 1976 for Favorite Female Artist – Soul/R&B, and throughout the years, she went on to win five more awards and we will never forget when she hosted the show; as well as her memorable performances. Dick Clark helped to revolutionize American music, and along the way, Aretha Franklin was part of that revolution.”

“It’s a blessing to be a part of this moving musical tribute to honor our late queen and sister, Aretha,” echoed Gladys Knight. “She was an icon and visionary, radiated light and love through all of her life’s work, and touched all of us through her incredible gift of music.”

“Aretha was the voice of a generation,” added music director, composer and producer, Rickey Minor. “She transcended racial barriers by reaching into the depths of her soul and taking us on a journey with every note she sang. Her spirit will live forever in her music.”

Aretha Franklin accumulated six American Music Awards in her lifetime, including Favorite Female Artist – Soul/R&B (1976, 1977, 1984 and 1986), Favorite Female Video Artist – Soul/R&B (1986) and Favorite Album – Soul/R&B (1983). She served as host of, and performed on, the AMAs in 1976 and 1983, and last performed on the AMAs stage in 1986. Franklin left a resounding mark on the music world and beyond, also garnering an induction into the Rock and Roll and Rhythm and Blues Halls of Fame, a Kennedy Center Honor, a Presidential Medal of Freedom and by utilizing her voice for social issues including civil and women’s rights.

Hosted by Tracee Ellis Ross and featuring additional performances by Benny Blanco with Halsey and Khalid, Cardi B with Bad Bunny and J Balvin, Mariah Carey, Post Malone featuring Ty Dolla $ign and Carrie Underwood, the 2018 American Music Awards air LIVE from the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles on Tuesday, October 9th @ 8PM ET/PT on ABC.

Written by Juliet Schroder

Juliet is the founder and executive producer/host of Celeb Secrets and Celeb Secrets Country. When not reporting on the latest news in pop culture and country music, she enjoys traveling, spending time with friends and family, and exploring the latest fashion trends.

Juliet holds a B.S. in marketing from St. John's University.