Friends, family and fans have gathered to remember the life of Aretha Franklin at the Queen of Soul’s Detroit funeral.
The five hour ceremony, which featured performances from Stevie Wonder and Jennifer Hudson, was attended by civil rights leaders Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton as well as former President Bill Clinton and his wife, former presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.
But there was one performance that raised eyebrows in more ways than one.
Although Ariana Grande’s powerful rendition of Franklin’s ‘Natural Woman’ has been labelled as “vibrant” and “mesmerising”, there’s one aspect that fans aren’t quite sure about – Ariana’s mini black dress.
On Twitter, viewers questioned whether Ariana's dress was funeral appropriate, with some fans labelling the dress "disrespectful" as it sat above the knees.
— Bossip (@Bossip) August 31, 2018
I'm not one to police what people wear, but Ariana Grande could have at least worn stockings with that dress..this is a funeral dammit lol
— Noir ???????????????? (@_BasedMistress) August 31, 2018
There’s no way Ariana Grande would have made it to the stage of my childhood church with a dress that short. #ArethaFranklinFuneral
— (((Jammy))) (@Carlisias) August 31, 2018
Did Ariana Grande not know WHERE she was singing in that short dress that barely covers her behind? #ArethaHomegoing
— Nami.J (@Beetsalina) August 31, 2018
Eagled eyed viewers also pointed out the look on Bill Clinton's face when Ariana took the stage.
— The Daily Caller (@DailyCaller) August 31, 2018
But while some Twitter users were attacking Ariana's dress choice, others have supported the singer, adding that the 25-year-old likely wasn't aware of the traditional dress regulations.
Traditionally at funerals, women are generally recommended to wear black with skirts to be worn below the knee.
Ariana Grande did a great job singing. Aretha loved her. And the Lord knows she ain't the first one to wear a short dress to a funeral. #ArethaHomegoing
— kwhite6 (@kwhite6) August 31, 2018
funny how no one is mentioning that ariana grande purposefully covered up her tattoo to be respectful of aretha, but still wanna say she was purposefully disrespectful for her funeral attire when she was genuinely unknowledgeable on the traditional dress code #ArethaHomegoing
— babydoll (@forevrsweetener) August 31, 2018
Ariana Grande did THAT. She showed her love for Aretha in ways that many of us can’t, and ya’ll are focusing on the way she chooses to dress. Lmao okay. #ArethaHomegoing
— Fernando Rueda (@FernandoRueda00) August 31, 2018
No one can argue that Ariana's performance wasn't brilliant, and the 25-year-old unequivocally has the utmost respect for the late Aretha Franklin.
Whether the dress was appropriate or not surely isn't the point - but rather an extension of our cultural obsession with policing how women dress.
Ariana - it goes without saying - can wear what she likes. And the commentary has left us rolling our eyes.
The funeral was not about the distance between Aretha's dress and her knees, but about celebrating one of the most influential and talented artists of our time.
Aretha's funeral was reportedly largely planned by the 76-year-old late singer herself, with Ariana selected to perform after the soul star's family saw her perform on Jimmy Fallon's Tonight Show shortly after Aretha's death on August 16.
More than 100 pink Cadillacs lined up to join the funeral procession, while Aretha was dressed in a gold gown and matching Louboutin heels at the funeral.