Eric Church Pays Tribute to Aretha Franklin With "A Natural Woman" Cover

By Katrina Nattress

August 24, 2018

When Aretha Franklin passed away on August 16, the world of music mourned. Artists from all walks of life paid tribute to the Queen of Soul through social media posts and special performances, including a handful of stars in the country community.

On August 19, Eric Church honored the legendary singer by performing his rendition of "(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman" during his set at Country Thunder Alberta. The Chief began his headlining performance by sauntering onto the stage equipped with nothing but an acoustic guitar. Without his band behind him, the country star crooned the soulful song with a bit of twang while strumming passionately on his guitar. The crowd cheered with approval. 

When the performance was done, Church's band joined him onstage and together they seamlessly transitioned into his concert staple, "Smoke a Little Smoke."

A fan caught the whole thing on camera. Watch the footage below.

Faith Hill will be representing the country community at Aretha's funeral on August 31. The country star collaborated with the soul singer on the 2011 duet "A Woman Falling Out of Love" and has cited the Aretha as a large influence. 

"For me, the big influence wasn't Linda Ronstadt; it was Aretha Franklin," Hill said during a 1996 interview with the Washington Post. "I've always listened to Aretha. When you hear the drums and bass on my records, that's where it comes from."

She will join Stevie Wonder, Chaka Khan, Yolanda Adams, Shirley CaesarThe Clark Sisters, Jennifer Holliday, Marvin SappJennifer Hudson, and Fantasia as performers during the service, which will be restricted to family and friends. Before the funeral, a public, two-day open casket viewing is set to take place at the city’s Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History. 

Photo: Getty Images

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