The Queen of Soul was to receive the Torch of Freedom award from the Soldiers, Sailors, Marines, Coast Guard and Airmen’s Club, which provides low-cost housing for men and women in the military, in a ceremony in Times Square but reportedly was absent.

However, the New York Daily News reported that police cut short the outdoor festivities before Franklin took the stage because organizers failed to get permits to use sound equipment. The event was allowed to continue without amplification.

Franklin did perfom later as scheduled during a fundraising concert at Nokia Theatre Times Square.