TThe bishop, who led the funeral of Aretha Franklin, apologized to Ariana Grande for the way he hit her on stage and a joke he made about her name.
Bishop Charles Ellis III led Franklin's funeral and greeted awkwardly Grande on stage after she performed (You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman. The images of the moment showed the hand of Mr. Ellis with Grande far above her waist, with his fingers pressed against one side of her chest.
The preacher apologized in an interview with The Associated Press at the cemetery where Franklin was buried at the end of Friday.
"It would never be my intention to touch a woman's chest … I do not know, I suppose I put my arm around her," said Mr Ellis. "Maybe I crossed the border, maybe I was too friendly or familiar, but again, my apologies."
He said he embraced all the artists during Friday's eight-hour service.