"Then the Dangerous Woman performed the Queen of Soul's iconic song "(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman" with the Roots.
"I met her a few times", Grande told host Jimmy Fallon before her performance.
Of the track on the album named after her fiance, Grande said, "it was either gonna be that or "This Is About Pete Davidson.' I was like, 'Why not?"
Before filming the show, Ariana shared a black and white picture of her hugging the Respect singer, with an Instagram caption of hearts.
Nick Foles of Philadelphia Eagles suffers shoulder strain vs. New England Patriots
The Super Bowl MVP was visibly in pain, clutching his arm near the elbow and shoulder. Some lip-readers suggested that the Patriots quarterback said , "I'm happy for you".
Before the show, Grande posted a photo of herself and Franklin together.
The singer, who was booked on the show to promote her new fourth album, Sweetener, performed alongside Jimmy's house band, U.S. hip hop legends The Roots. The "No Tears Left to Cry" star described the late artist as "so sweet". "The world is poorer for her not being here", he said.
Grande later recalled receiving a phone call from Franklin, who wanted Grande to listen to music from either her nephew or grandson - Grande couldn't remember which.
She told Fallon: 'Well, we met on SNL like two, three years ago whenever that was, we've like never exchanged numbers or anything - we weren't even like friends for a long time.