Last night's broadcast of the 38th annual Kennedy Center Honors was one for the books. Giving just due to some of our greatest living artistic legends, the awards ceremony inducted a new class of honorees that included trailblazers Cicely Tyson, Rita Moreno, George Lucas, Seiji Ozawa and the incomparable singer/songwriter Carole King. The night was full of showstopping moments in tribute of the visionaries, including performances from CeCe Winans and Janelle Monáe. However, the night's most memorable performance belonged to the Queen of Soul herself, Aretha Franklin.
Performing in tribute of Carole King, the legendary vocalist took the stage to perform "(You Make Me Feel Like A) Natural Woman." But being that this is Auntie Retha we're talking about, she didn't just take stage. She sauntered onto it sporting a full-length mink and with her sparkly gold clutch in tow. Then to everyone's (including Carole King's) surprise and delight, she sat her purse on the piano and sat down at the keys to launch into a spellbinding rendition of the song. As she wrang the song for all the emotion, the audience cheered, clapped and even wiped a tear or two from their eyes (we see you, President Obama!). But the icon wasn't done yet, she stood from the piano and tore into the song even more, taking it to church, back and to church again, as she slid out of her mink and let it drop to floor. Talk about making a statement!
You can check out Aretha's showstopping performance below. And, if you happened to miss last night's telecast (which was amazing), CBS is streaming the program in full on its website now.