Nicki Minaj kicked f a jam-packed third episode Beats 1's Queen Radio on Thursday (Aug. 16) shortly after noon ET, with the music community in mourning following Aretha Franklin's death. Minaj made sure to rightly honor the life the Queen Soul, and Alicia Keys also stopped by to deliver an impromptu performance Franklin's "(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman."
"It’s no secret she’s an icon -- an icon all icons," Minaj said. "I don’t know anyone who she hasn’t inspired. It seems strange to wake up and hear she passed, even though she lived a long and fulfilled life. But still, we’ve lost one our icons. Someone we’ve all been inspired by."
The 35-year-old rapper reflected on learning the Detroit native's 1967 anthem "Respect" in school as a child. "I remember being in school learning ‘Respect,’ and that felt like a mini national anthem for us. It’s so weird how everyone grew up with that song," she said. "What I love about the song is not just saying 'give me respect,' it’s demanding respect. I like strong and iconic women. She was unapologetically the Queen."
Alicia Keys joined her "Girl on Fire" remix collaborator to close out the latest installment Queen Radio and properly pay her respects to Aretha Franklin. The multi-faceted R&B star showed f her vocal abilities with a stripped-down keyboard performance the 18-time Grammy winner's empowering "(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman."
Stream Queen Radio on Apple Music. Check out Nicki hanging with Alicia in the Beats 1 studios and Minaj's tribute to the late Aretha Franklin below.