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American Music Awards Aretha Franklin tribute will inspire “a lot of tears” and “lots of joy”


Dick Clark ProductionsThe late Aretha Franklin will be honored with a gospel tribute tonight on the American Music Awards, and the executive producer predicts it will be a very emotional performance inspiring “a lot of tears” and “lots of joy.”   

Gladys Knight, Ledisi, Mary Mary, Donnie McClurkin and CeCe Winans will be featured as they honor The Queen of Soul.

“Aretha had a long, long history with this show, and with Dick Clark,” AMA executive producer Marc Bracco tells ABC Radio.

“Her first ever appearance on TV was on American Bandstand decades ago, and she hosted the American Music Awards twice,” he explains. “We brought Ricky Minor on board, the famed musical director, and he is putting together a tribute to Aretha’s gospel roots that’s gonna kick off with Gladys Knight, and I think bring a lot of tears to people’s eyes, but then there’ll be lots of joy as we take everyone to church with the legends of gospel music performing in an amazing gospel choir.” 

Tracee Ellis Ross will host the 2018 American Music Awards live from the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles tonight at 8:00 p.m. ET on ABC. Drake and Cardi B lead all artists, with eight nominations.

The list of performers also includes Cardi with Bad Bunny and J Balvin, Mariah Carey, Jennifer Lopez, Post Malone with Ty Dolla $ign, Benny Blanco with Halsey and Khalid, Ciara with Missy Elliott, and Ella Mai. 

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