Aretha Franklin and Ariana Grande. Picture: Instagram

Ariana Grande remembered Aretha Franklin with a stunning performance of 'Natural Woman'.

The 25-year-old singer paid tribute to the legendary soul star - who tragically lost her battle with pancreatic cancer aged 76 on Thursday, August 16 - with a rendition of her classic song.

Appearing on 'The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon' hours after the sad news broke that Aretha had passed away, Grande used her appearance to remember the late musician.

The pair first met when they both performed at the White House at a 'Women of Soul' concert in 2014, and Ariana said Aretha was "so sweet".

She revealed: "I met her a few times. We sang at the White House and she was so sweet, she was so cute. It's an honour to have met her."

Ariana added that the legendary singer also asked her to take a listen to some music recorded by either her "nephew or her grandson".
She said: "She called me one time, one time only, and she goes 'Hi, it's Aretha,' and I'm like, 'Franklin?!

 "I don't remember because it was Aretha Franklin on the phone and I didn't know what was happening.

"I was like, "Oh my god, I'd be honoured to listen. Thank you for thinking of me. Just text me the MP3 or something.' 

"And she was like, 'Well, I don't know how to do that so I'm just gonna send it to you.' And then like four months later I got a package with a CD. But it was nice. It was great."

The 'God is a Woman' singer had offered a tribute on social media earlier in the day, including a black and white snap of them together alongside some heart emojis.

She also shared a clip of Aretha singing 'I Say A Little Prayer', and captioned it "forever".

Aretha's family issued a statement on Thursday announcing one of the "darkest moments" they had experienced.

They said: "Franklin's official cause of death was due to advance pancreatic cancer of the neuroendocrine type, which was confirmed by Franklin's oncologist, Dr. Philip Phillips of Karmanos Cancer Institute" in Detroit.

"In one of the darkest moments of our lives, we are not able to find the appropriate words to express the pain in our heart. We have lost the matriarch and rock of our family."

Bang Showbiz