Grammys Kick Off with Aretha Franklin Tribute

LOS ANGELES (AP) - A recovering Aretha Franklin made her first
televised appearance before a national audience as the Grammys
began with a multi-genre tribute to the Queen of Soul, who is
recovering from surgery.

Dressed in white, a healthy looking Franklin - who has yet to disclose what was ailing her - thanked well-wishers for their prayers and cards during her hospitalization.

Said Franklin: "I wish that I could have been with you all tonight, but since I couldn't, next year."

The Recording Academy tapped some of music's best powerhouse vocalists for the tribute, with Christina Aguilera, Jennifer Hudson, Martina McBride, best new artist nominee Florence Welch of Florence and the Machine, and gospel singer Yolanda Adams belting through some of Franklin's greatest hits.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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