Aretha Franklin may have been embroiled in a recent controversy over an unauthorized documentary of her life in recent weeks, but the legendary singer will get another honor on Saturday, Sept. 26. She’ll perform for Pope Francis in Philadelphia at the Festival of Families, the event spokesperson announced Monday.
According to a release, Franklin, the band The Fray, and comedian Jim Gaffigan will welcome the pope and his congregation while Mark Wahlberg hosts the event. “It is indeed a blessing to sing in the presence of His Holiness and to the attendees of the Festival of Families in the City of Brotherly Love,” Aretha Franklin said in a statement. “I look forward to this event. Be blessed!”
“Children have been a part of our band’s story from the beginning,” said Isaac Slade of The Fray. “We all have stories of our own fatherhood and family life and we’re honored to be a part of such a tremendous celebration, of six families from six continents, sharing their own stories with the world.”
Andrea Bocelli, Juanes, Marie Miller, Matt Maher, Sister Sledge, and The Philadelphia Orchestra, led by Yannick Nézet-Séguin will also be in attendance.