The bishop who officiated at Aretha Franklin’s funeral has apologised to Ariana Grande for how he touched her onstage.
Bishop Charles H Ellis III led Franklin’s funeral and awkwardly greeted Grande on stage after she performed ‘(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman’.
Images of the moment showed Ellis’s hand holding Grande well above her waist, with his fingers pressing against one side of her chest.
The preacher apologised at the cemetery where Franklin was buried.
“It would never be my intention to touch any woman’s breast… I don’t know, I guess I put my arm around her,” Ellis said.
“Maybe I crossed the border, maybe I was too friendly or familiar but again, I apologise.”
He said he hugged all the performers during Friday’s eight-hour service. “I hug all the female artists and the male artists,” Ellis said.
He also apologised for making a joke about thinking her name was a new item on the Taco Bell menu.