The music icon revealed the news ahead of Sunday's headline performance.
The Queen of Soul brings the house down as she sings the Carole King penned classic ‘(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman’.
The performance was part of a ‘Kennedy Centre Honours’ show that recognises outstanding achievement by American artists.
Carole King, who wrote classics such as ‘It’s Too Late’ and ‘I Feel The Earth Move’, was one of the artists being honoured in front of an audience that included president Obama and his wife, Michelle.
The video shows the amazing moment when Chilina Kennedy, who plays King in the stage show about her life, 'Beautiful', introduces Aretha Franklin to the stage. Carole is clearly unaware of the surprise and her reaction is priceless.
The 73-year-old Queen of Soul then sits at the piano and performs ‘(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman’ as everyone in the crowd goes wild - but none more so than Carole who cheers her on while the audience rise to their feet to applaud one of the greatest singers of our time.