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CBS on Tuesday aired the “Kennedy Center Honors” special, which was capped by a soul-stirring performance by Aretha Franklin that energized the entire room and had everyone on their feet, visibly moved – most notably, President Barack Obama.


The Queen of Soul sang “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman” as a tribute to Kennedy Center Honoree Carol King, who wrote the tune that became a Franklin classic upon its release in 1967.


Franklin’s presence was a surprise to King, who could barely contain her composure when the 73-year-old legend walked onstage (wearing a floor-length fur coat and carrying her purse) and sat at the piano to perform.

King looked around in disbelief at all the other guests seated beside her — including the president and First Lady Michelle Obama.

Cameras caught President Obama appearing to wipe a tear from his eye as Franklin belted out the ballad.

Franklin left the piano halfway through her performance and removed her fur coat to finish the song unencumbered.

This sent the crowd into even more of a frenzy. She brought the President and First Lady to their feet, along with King, her fellow honorees (George Lucas, Cicely Tyson, Seiji Ozawa and Rita Moreno) and the entire Kennedy Center crowd.

Watch below:

The Original R&B Divas
13 photos

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8 thoughts on “Aretha Franklin Shuts Kennedy Center Down With ‘Natural Woman’; Makes POTUS Cry? [WATCH]

  1. devareva on said:

    The grandest dame of soul singing ever!! Classic Miss. Franklin can outdo them all with her clothes on, a few backup singers and no dancers. What a performance.

  2. specialt757 on said:

    Absolutely! She earned that title and she did it with all her natural parts and with clothes on. No one can do it like Aretha! My fondest memories, playing dolls with my cousin singing Until You Come Back To Me (That’s What I’m Gonna Do). This woman is the definition of phenomenal.

  3. Timekeeeper on said:

    Carol King, who actually wrote that song and was being honored that night, had the presence of mind to realize way back in 1967 ; that Aretha Franklin was the only one who could bring that song to life!!!
    And yes, it was a masterful performance, I loved the mink coat coming off!!!!

  4. Babyboomer on said:

    This was Aretha’s best performance in a while. She was just wonderful. This is why she will forever be “THE QUEEN OF SOUL.

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