Taylor Swift is usually known to fill stadiums with singing fans, but Tuesday night in Detroit, she took a break from singing her hits to pay tribute to hometown favorite Aretha Franklin.
Partway through her set, the 28-year-old star asked for the lights to be dimmed as she encouraged her fans to remember the Queen of Soul.
“Last week we lost an irreplaceable force. Aretha Franklin did so much for music, she did so much for women’s rights, she did so much for civil rights,” Swift said from the stage.
As reported by People, the Reputation singer called attention to Franklin’s influence on the music industry and the world around her.
“She was one of those people where no matter what you said, no matter what glowing positive thing you said about her, it would be an understatement. Words could never, ever describe how many things she did in her lifetime that made our world a better place. And this is her home.
“I would like it if we could have a moment of silence so that every single one of us could reflect on our love and respect for her and everything that she did in her life. So if we could please cut the lights, we’ll have a moment of silence for Aretha. We love you Aretha.”
A video shared by thousands on social media overnight shows a few moments of Swift’s heartfelt tribute.
Swift, well-known for her elaborate stage show and exuberant performances, was on point all evening. Local news anchor Brad Galli tweeted that she “rocked Ford Field tonight.”
The 50,000 fans in attendance were just as happy to be there, with one fan account of the show quoting Swift as saying, “I’m looking at this crowd… You guys aren’t playing around.” Some fans wondered if “last night was even real.”
Swift is not the only pop star who’s paid tribute to the late singer. Last week, Madonna came under fire for a speech she gave at the VMAs. Critics say Madonna spent far more time talking about herself than about Franklin.
Franklin died August 16 after battling pancreatic cancer. The Detroit native’s funeral is open to the public Tuesday and Wednesday, with a private ceremony scheduled to be streamed online on Friday, as previously reported in the Inquisitr.
Swift’s Reputation stadium tour continues Friday in Minneapolis and continues through November.