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The bishop at Aretha Franklin's funeral has been accused of 'groping' Ariana Grande on stage

People watching the funeral were furious.

Aretha Franklin Source: Paul Sancya

THE FUNERAL OF soul star Aretha Franklin took place yesterday afternoon in Detroit and some of the biggest celebrities in the United States were in attendance.

These celebs included Stevie Wonder, the Clintons, Chaka Khan, Faith Hill, and of course Ariana Grande, who performed Aretha’s song ‘(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman’ during the service. 

Millions tuned in to the 8-hour-long service, which was televised and streamed online. Many were looking forward to Ariana Grande’s tribute to Franklin, but were eventually shocked with what they witnessed on stage at the Greater Grace Temple. 

Source: Variety/YouTube

Following Grande’s performance, Bishop Charles H Ellis III made a joke about how Ariana’s named resembled something ‘off of a Taco Bell menu’. 

This was enough to offend some viewers. As the bishop continued speaking, his arm, which was around the singer’s back, inched slowly toward Ariana’s breast. 

If the video won’t play, click here.

Many people jumped on Twitter to point out how uncomfortable the singer looked and how inappropriate the whole affair was. Several people also suggested that Bill Clinton had been ogling the singer during her performance.

In total, there were 90,000 tweets shared under the hashtag #RespectAriana after the incident. 

Following the uproar, Bishop Charles H Ellis III issued an apology. 

In a statement to AP, Ellis said that perhaps he had “crossed a border.”

It would never be my intention to touch anyone’s breast. 

The bishop also said, “The last thing I want to do is to be a distraction to this day. This is all about Aretha Franklin.” Ellis also apologised to the Hispanic community for his comments about Ariana Grande’s name. 

Ariana Grande has yet to make any public statement on the incident.

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Kelly Earley

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