US soul singer Aretha Franklin will perform at a concert during Pope Francis’s visit to Philadelphia later this month.
Franklin will take to the stage on September 26, the day that the Pope is scheduled to visit the World Meeting of Families’ street festival. The open-air concert, by Philadelphia’s Benjamin Franklin Parkway, will be hosted by Catholic actor Mark Wahlberg, and will also feature comedian Jim Gaffigan, tenor Andrea Bocelli and the Philadelphia Orchestra.
“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,” said Franklin, whose hits include Respect, (You Make Me feel Like) A Natural Woman and Think.
On the following day, Pope Francis will celebrate a public Mass that is expected to draw a crowd of more than 1.5 million people, the final engagement of visit to the US.
During the papal visit, which begins on September 22, the Pontiff will also address a joint session of Congress in Washington and speak at the United Nations in New York. Prior to his arrival in the US, Francis will spend four days in Cuba.
For a full schedule of Pope Francis’s visit to Cuba and the US, go here.