Kelly Clarkson, Adam Lambert and More Share Aretha Franklin Tributes

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The Queen of Soul Aretha Franklin died on Thursday (August 16) at 76 of pancreatic cancer.

Ann Hampton Callaway and Billy Stri...
Ann Hampton Callaway and Billy Stritch Linda Ronstadt Show at Birdland

The legendary singer influenced artists across the decades and from all genres of pop music. Since we cover competition reality shows, here’s a compilation of tributes from singing show stars–everyone from Kelly Clarkson, to Jennifer Hudson to Adam Lambert. Aretha Franklin classics have been covered over and over again on these shows.

And Aretha herself performed on the American Idol season 12 finale and also served as a mentor on American Idol 14, which contestants from that season fondly recall. Rest in peace, Aretha.

Fantasia – American Idol season 3 winner

Carrie Underwood – American Idol season 4 winner

Jennifer Hudson – American Idol season 3 (The Voice coach – 13 and 15)

Kelly Clarkson American Idol season 1 winner – The Voice coach season 14 & 15.

Brynn Cartelli – The Voice season 14 winner (Kelly Clarkson’s team)

Adam Lambert – American Idol season 8

Chris Blue – The Voice season 12 winner 

Keisha Renee – The Voice season 13

Michael J. Woodard – American Idol season 16

Gabby Barrett – American Idol season 16

Catie Turner – American Idol season 16

David Archuleta – American Idol season 7

Britton Buchanan – The Voice season 14

Cassadee Pope – The Voice season 3 winner

Meghan Linsey – The Voice season 8

Trent Harmon – American Idol season 15 winner

Chloe Kohanski – The Voice season 13 winner

Billy Gilman – The Voice season 11

Adam Wakefield – The Voice season 10

Lauren Duski – The Voice season 12

Rayvon Owen – American Idol season 14

JAX – Season 14

Candice Glover – Season 12 winner

Sasha Allen – The Voice season 4

Crystal Bowersox – American Idol season 9

Scotty McCreery – American Idol season 10 winner

Phillip Phillips – American Idol season 11 winner

Brooke Simpson – The Voice season 13

Wé McDonald – The Voice season 11

Vonzell Solomon – American Idol season 4

Nakia – The Voice season 1

Kyla Jade – The Voice season 14

Katharine McPhee – American Idol season 5

Katie Stevens – American Idol season 9

Pia Toscano – American Idol season 10

Kimberley Locke – American Idol season 2

Paris Bennett – American Idol season 5

Caleb Johnson – American Idol season 13 winner

Jessica Meuse – American Idol season 13

Diana DeGarmo – American Idol season 3

Jeffery Austin – The Voice season 9

Jacquie Lee – The Voice season 5

About mj santilli 33705 Articles
Founder and editor of, home of the awesomest fan community on the net. I love cheesy singing shows of all kinds, whether reality or scripted. I adore American Idol, but also love The Voice, Glee, X Factor and more!


  1. Thank you for collating all these heartfelt reactions from all over, mj — I could only add Barack Obama’s reaction, and an assessment from earlier times, along with a painting that I had never seen before, but instantly recognized the subject – posted by the Rogers Revue:

    Barack Obama
    Aretha helped define the American experience. In her voice, we could feel our history, all of it and in every shade—our power and our pain, our darkness and our light, our quest for redemption and our hard-won respect. May the Queen of Soul rest in eternal peace.
    12:31 PM – Aug 16, 2018

    In December 2015, before he left office, Obama was caught singing along and tearing up as Franklin performed Carole King’s ”(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman” at the Kennedy Center. 
    “American history wells up when Aretha sings,” Obama later said, explaining his emotional reaction to the performance in an email to The New Yorker.
    “Nobody embodies more fully the connection between the African-American spiritual, the blues, R. & B., rock and roll ? the way that hardship and sorrow were transformed into something full of beauty and vitality and hope,” he wrote.” ~ source huffpo

  2. I’m of course biased, not even going to pretend I’m not, but I was really touched by Britton’s dedication along with Crystal’s and Carrie’s. It’s so nice to see how Aretha inspired so many people. Like Carrie so wisely put it “her legacy will live on and she will forever have our love and #RESPECT”. Respect indeed.

  3. I also liked Meghan Linsey’s (really, I liked a lot of the tributes), but I do think you’ve picked out the three best. :-)

  4. Aww I missed Meghan’s video the first time, a very sweet homage from her. I remember that she did Natural Woman on her run and it was one of my faves from her. I actually found out about Aretha’s passing thanks to my daily stalking of Britton’s socials. He’s got a way with words, or at least they really spoke to me. But honestly, a lot of them are really touching, Kelly’s, Brooke’s…

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