On Tuesday night, Oprah Winfrey was bid farewell on national TV by Beyonce, Madonna, Aretha Franklin, Michael Jordan, Tom Cruise and numerous others. The show, which took place in an arena in Chicago, is called “Surprise Oprah! A Farewell Spectacular,” (the surprise implying the guest list), and will air as two parts on May 23rd and 24th.
Oprah, Surrounded By Love…
“She’s a self-made woman who’s been at the top of her game for over 25 years,” Madonna told the crowd. “It’s no secret that millions of people are inspired by Oprah. I am one of those people… She fights for the things she believes in, even if it makes her unpopular.”
Tom Hanks added “Your show has turned surprise into an art form. Oprah Winfrey, today you are surrounded by nothing but love. Your studio was not big enough to hold it all, so here we are!”
Winfrey was shocked when Aretha Franklin, recently recovered from surgery, sang “Amazing Grace.” Beyonce also added her voice to the evening with her new single “Run the World (Girls)”. She also said that because of Oprah, “women everywhere have graduated to a new level of understanding of what we are, who we are and who we can be.”
Winfrey, who is considered to be one of the most influential women on television, was also celebrated with appearances by Halle Berry, Josh Groban, John Legend, Will Smith, Queen Latifah, Patti LaBelle, Jerry Seinfeld and Diane Sawyer. Jamie Foxx and Stevie Wonder sang “Isn’t She Lovely,” and Rascal Flatts sang “I Won’t Let Go.” At the end of the evening, Usher sang “Oh Happy Day.”
An emotional Winfrey said “I feel the love, and I thank you for it.”