She came to honor a musical icon by performing a heartfelt rendition of "(You Make Me Feel) Like a Natural Woman."
Instead, Ariana Grande was groped by a pastor, eyeballed by a former president and criticized for the length of her skirt.
She, and every woman, deserved better.
Bishop Charles H. Ellis III, who officiated Aretha Franklin's funeral has since apologized to the pop singer for how he awkwardly greeted her on stage after her performance, and for making a joke about her name—myriad images blazing across the Webosphere show Ellis' hand grabbing Grande above her waist, with his fingers plainly pressing into the side of her chest.
"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 told the Associated Press later that day. "Maybe I crossed the border, maybe I was too friendly or familiar but again, I apologize."
He added: "I hug all the female artists and the male artists. Everybody that was up, I shook their hands and hugged them. That's what we are all about in the church. We are all about love."
Ellis then continued: "The last thing I want to do is to be a distraction to this day. This is all about Aretha Franklin."
The apologies to Grande did not stop there, as the bishop also said sorry to the singer, the community as well as her fans for joking about spotting her name on the program and believing it to be a new Taco Bell menu item.
"I personally and sincerely apologize to Ariana and to her fans and to the whole Hispanic community," Ellis said. "When you're doing a program for nine hours you try to keep it lively, you try to insert some jokes here and there."
And social media blew up at video images of former U.S. President Bill Clinton seemingly mesmerized–but not in a good way—at the "Not Tears Left to Cry" crooner's performance that day, as well.
The online consensus was that Clinton was more "gross" than a mere appreciator of good music after his eyes seemed to wander to the singer's derriere during the rendition of the classic tune.
With one Twitter user posting the video and captioning, "Gross..watch Bill Clinton look Ariana Grande up and down when she sings at #ArethaFranklinFuneral and try not to throw up in your mouth."
If this wasn't enough for the 25-year-old singer to endure during her heartfelt tribute to the late Queen of Soul, some media as well as social media users criticized the length of the skirt she wore, with one user, Tenisha Taylor Bell, tweeting, "#ArianaGrande don't know the below the knee rule for the pulpit in the black church. Somebody hand her a lap hanky and a choir robe. Bless her heart."