Aretha Franklin Joins Pope In Philly

The Queen of Soul will join the Pope in Philadelphia Sept. 26, with the announcement that Aretha Franklin will travel to Philly to perform at the during Pope Francis’ first visit to the United States.

She joins a lineup of performers that includes host Mark Wahlberg, Jim Gaffigan, The Fray, Andrea Bocelli, Juanes, Marie Miller, Matt Maher, Sister Sledge, and The Philadelphia Orchestra for the event on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway.

The festival is part of the World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia, the first American city to host the meeting since its 1994 inception by then-Pope John Paul II.

“It is indeed a blessing to sing in the presence of His Holiness and to the attendees of the Festival of Families in the City of Brotherly Love,” Franklin said in a statement. “I look forward to this event.  Be blessed!”

Photo: Gregorio Borgia
Delivering his message during an audience with faithful and employees of the Rome’s Cooperative Credit Bank in the Paul VI hall at the Vatican.

ESM Productions is staging the Festival of Families, which is co-sponsored by the Holy See’s Pontifical Council for the Family and the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.