Ariana Grande performed one of her musical influences classic songs during The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon. Backed by the Roots, Grande sang a faithful rendition of Aretha Franklin‘s “(You Make Me Feel Like) a Natural Woman,” the late singer’s hit 1967 single.
In a cold open for the show, Grande delivered the heartfelt lyrics with her eyes closed, along with three backing singers as they all swayed along to the emotional song.
Following the performance, Fallon paid tribute to Franklin as well, telling a story about how she requested no air conditioning so her voice could be supple whenever she appeared on his show. “Questlove almost faints,” Fallon teased about one of the times she was in the studio. Fallon added that, “She was so funny and so charming, and nice to everyone on staff, top to bottom… I just love her so much.” During his interview with Grande, the pair shared memories of the icon.
“I met her a few times. We sang at the White House and she was so sweet and she was like so cute and I was like, ‘How are you a real person?’ It’s an honor to have met her,” Grande said. “She called me one time, it was one time only, and she goes, ‘Hi, its Aretha.’ I’m like, ‘Frankin?'”
Grande’s fourth studio album, Sweetener, drops on Friday.