AceShowbiz - Ariana Grande once received a surprise phone call from late soul legend Aretha Franklin, who asked her to listen to music made by a relative.
The "Respect" hitmaker passed away at her home in Detroit, Michigan, on Thursday, August 16 at the age of 76 following a battle with advanced pancreatic cancer, and her fellow musicians flooded social media with tributes to the icon.
Ariana added her own tribute during an appearance on "The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon" on Thursday, when she opened the show with a rendition of Aretha's hit "(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman" with Jimmy's house band The Roots.
Afterwards, she sat down for a chat with Jimmy and called her encounters with the late singer, including a call she received out of the blue.
"She called me one time, one time only, and she goes 'Hi, it's Aretha,' and I'm like, 'Franklin?!" she remembered, explaining how she was hoping Ariana would listen to some music made by either her "nephew or her grandson".
"I don't remember because it was Aretha Franklin on the phone and I didn't know what was happening," she continued. "I was like, "Oh my god, I'd be honoured to listen. Thank you for thinking of me. Just text me the MP3 or something.' And she was like, 'Well, I don't know how to do that so I'm just gonna send it to you.' And then like four months later I got a package with a CD... But it was nice. It was great."
The 25-year-old met the "Think" hitmaker "a few times" and she recalled how she was "so sweet and she was so cute, and I was like, 'How are you a real person?' It's an honour to have met her."
Earlier that day, the Side to Side singer shared a picture of her with Aretha on social media and filled the caption with a series of love hearts.
TMZ.com reported that Ariana, who was on the show to promote her new album "Sweetener", which was released on Friday, was reluctant to sing the hit at the last minute because she was too emotional, but she was convinced by The Roots' Questlove. However, she reportedly "broke down in tears" once she'd left the stage.