Eric Church Kicks Off Festival Set With Aretha Franklin’s ‘A Natural Woman’ [Watch]
Aretha Franklin's death on Aug. 16 shook the music world, and in the days that followed, even country artists paid homage to the Queen of Soul. Eric Church chose to honor the late singer with a memorable cover of "(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman" at the start of his headlining set at Country Thunder Alberta on Aug. 19 in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.
Taking the stage alone with just his acoustic guitar, the Chief put his own soulful spin on Franklin's 1967 hit. A screaming crowd showed approval as he moved through the sultry song with a distinct reverence only Church himself could conjure up. For more than two minutes, Church captivated festival-goers with a slowed and powerful belt before his band joined him to segue into his concert staple, "Smoke a Little Smoke."
Church is far from the only act to have paid his respects to Franklin through music in recent days. Several past covers have resurfaced, including performances by Jo Dee Messina and Reba McEntire. Chris Stapleton and Faith Hill have also shared the soul singer's influence on them.
Stapleton was in California when news broke that Franklin had died at the age of 76. He paid tribute to the late Queen of Soul that night, during a show at the Mattress Firm Amphitheater in Chula Vista, Calif..
"We lost a legend today," Stapleton remarked before breaking into Franklin's "Do Right Woman, Do Right Man." "In my opinion, the greatest singer that ever lived."
Country Stars Mourn Death of Aretha Franklin: