Sopranos Show Aretha R-E-S-P-E-C-T

04/10/1998 AT 12:00 AM EDT

Aretha Franklin has quite a vocal range. But the sound heard most at Tuesday's "VH1 Divas Live: The One and Only Aretha Franklin" was that of the Sopranos -- given that Aida Turturro, along with other stars of the hit HBO Mob series, Lorraine Bracco, Drea de Matteo and Edie Falco, were among those who introduced the Queen of Soul, 59, on the great stage of Radio City Music Hall. " 'R-E-S-P-E-C-T' is my favorite song," Aida Turturro, who plays nefarious sister Janice Soprano, told PEOPLE before the concert. "My friend sang it at her wedding." Edie Falco, who plays Carmela (the conflicted wife of Mob boss Tony Soprano), told PEOPLE, "I am not really a diva. Carmela is a diva." Meanwhile, actor Eric McCormack, who plays a diva of sorts on NBC's "Will & Grace" (Sean Hayes plays a prima donna), said on stage, "I was asked here by Aretha. She loves 'Will & Grace' . . . the way I love her music." Later, three of the Backstreet Boys -- Kevin Richardson, Howie Dorough and A.J. McLean -- provided background vocals for Franklin on "Chain of Fools." When they first entered the Hall, Richardson told PEOPLE, "The divas in our group aren't here," referring to absent band members Nick Carter and Brian Littrell. Added Dorough: "They aren't here to defend themselves."

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