Friday, June 18, 2010

Aretha Franklin Shocks Apollo Theater with Impromptu "Rock Steady" Performance

Aretha Franklin shocked guests at the Apollo Theater Spring 2010 Benefit Monday night when she gave an impromptu performance of "Rock Steady" for the unsuspecting crowd!

The Queen of Soul had just been inducted into the legendary music venue's hall of fame by Danny Glover, and emcee Jamie Foxx hinted that the crowd wanted to hear a little more from Franklin following her acceptance speech.

"That's the testimony of a true legend," Foxx said, following the surprise two-minute performance.

Also honored Monday night were Michael Jackson, Apollo Amateur Night Winner Clark King (fifth photo), and Marc Anthony and Jennifer Lopez, who earned the Ruby Dee & Ossie Davis Arts and Humanitarian award for their contributions to childrens' healthcare via the Maribel Foundation.

Taking the stage to help celebrate were Sharon Jones (third photo), Estelle (fourth photo), Chris Tucker, Angela Bassett, and Leslie Uggams, who finished the night together onstage with a cover of Michael Jackson's "Earth Song."

"I saw [Michael] in 1983 at the Victory Tour, and I don't know about you, but I was blown away," Foxx said.

"He did not lip-sync. There was no Auto-Tune. Michael sang every word."

Check out a handful of our favorite photos of the night, above, and watch a snippet of Franklin's surprise rendition of "Rock Steady," below. 

[Photos by Shahar Azran]

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