CHARLOTTE, N.C. The Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin, paid tribute to her goddaughter Whitney Houston at a private concert in uptown Charlotte Monday night.
NewsChannel 36 was the only local station allowed inside the performance at the McGlohon Theatre at Spirit Square. Watch raw video of Aretha Franklin's first two songs.
The event was for the 600 members of the private music club Music With Friends and came just two days after Houston s death.
There were concerns Franklin may cancel, but she told organizers of the concert that there s nothing like music to comfort the soul. Photo slideshow from the concert.
During the concert Franklin asked the crowd to pray for Houston s family and performed Houston s hit I Will Always Love You.
She was kind. She was good. She was gentle, Franklin said of Houston. When the gates swing open, I m going to walk through. They sure opened the other day for her and she walked in.
After speaking about her goddaughter, Franklin asked the crowd to have one more moment and asked everyone to bow their heads in a moment of silence for Houston.
We weren't even sure she'd show up tonight, said Alex Funderburg. The fact that she came here and did such a wonderful tribute to Whitney...that was wonderful.
I think it shows that she loves her career and supports her fans no matter what, Funderburg's wife, Patty, added.
Franklin allowed NewsChannel 36 cameras inside the show, but only to shoot the first two songs before her tribute to Houston, which came about 45 minutes into the show.
Without a doubt the most powerful I ve ever seen here, said Debbie Williams, who has been a member of the music club for years. I think because of the heartfelt and the emotion behind the passing of Whitney and the icon and the legend and that Aretha is.
Houston's body is on the way to her hometown of Newark, New Jersey for a Friday funeral.
She was found unconscious underwater, in the bath tub of her room at a Beverly Hills Hotel on Saturday. The medical examiner is waiting on toxicology reports before determining a cause of death.
Larry Farber with East Coast Entertainment started the private music club in Charlotte, and when he has polled the members on who they want to see, Aretha is always at the top.
Meanwhile, fans around the world are downloading Houston s music.
I Will Always Love You is the number one song on iTunes right now, and 14 of her songs are in the top 50.