The first thing Fantasia Barrino-Taylor did when she came out to sing for Aretha Franklin’s funeral in Detroit on Friday was to take her own shoes off. No pair of high heels was going to get in the way of her tribute.
Barrino-Taylor gave the service’s most intense, fiery performance so far — by a mile. Few other vocalists in that venue (save maybe Yolanda Adams and, of course, the deceased) could match her pure gospel power. So her selections from Franklin’s landmark “Amazing Grace” live album were the truest songs she could have chosen.
Opening with a reverent rendition of “Precious Lord, Take My Hand,” Barrino-Taylor continued the service’s grateful, consoling tone. “When you're down and troubled, and you need some loving care / And nothing, nothing is going right, close your eyes and think of me.” The intended, of course, is God, but today it might well have been Franklin as well.