The Bishop That Inappropriately Touched Ariana Grande At Aretha Franklin's Funeral Has Apologised
Unexpected controversy has came out of Aretha Franklin's funeral service after Ariana Grande was put in a very uncomfortable position.
The Sweetener superstar was in attendance to pay her respects and also to perform as requested, paying tribute to the legendary diva as part of a star-studded, five-hour-long celebration that also saw Stevie Wonder and Jennifer Hudson perform.
Ariana's performance was utterly beautiful, as she sounded gorgeous singing the Queen of Soul's timeless '(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman', although what followed wasn't as easy to watch.
Immediately after her emotional performance, which had all kinds of super-famous people close to tears, the bishop who was leading the service addressed Ariana to the crowd.
Bishop Charles H Ellis III started by making a joke of his age by saying he had no idea who she was (nice) because he "thought that was a new something at Taco Bell" when he saw her name on the program.
He followed it up with a compliment of her talents, saying: "Girl, I gotta give you all your respect." The comment certainly seemed genuine, although how close he was to the singer while saying it caught the attention of just about everyone.
The bishop was embracing the pop superstar very closely, holding her high above her waist with his fingers moving and squeezing around her breast.
Ariana looked clearly uncomfortable as she turned from him giggling nervously, while the worst moment of all was caught right on camera as she is looking at him like any woman would when someone gets too familiar: 'um... WTF?'
Given the controversy, the bishop has issued an apology.
"It would never be my intention to touch any woman's breast," he said. "Maybe I crossed the border, maybe I was too friendly or familiar."
He also noted that he hugged all artists onstage, whatever their gender, "But again, I apologise."
- Ross McNeilage