Stevie Wonder was overcome with emotion on Friday, when he sat down for an interview with CBS This Morning, to share what his final conversation was with his longtime friend and collaborator Aretha Franklin.
Wonder visited the Queen of Soul on Tuesday in her Detroit home after discovering that she was “gravely ill.” He described what his last moment was like with Franklin. “She wasn’t able to speak back, but her family felt that she could hear me, and so I just said all the things that I’ve always said and told her to say hello to my sister, that I lost this year as well,” Wonder recalled while choking up.
The “Cherie Armour” singer said the Rock and Roll Hall of Famer’s voice is one that he remembers most in his life. He also said that besides her groundbreaking music, she was an amazing person.”She was just consistently a great human being, and she always – even with whatever turmoil may have been happening in her life, even through her illness – she did not put that on anybody else,” Wonder said. “She believed, I think that most of all she was doing God’s work, and she was. She brought joy to others’ lives, and she will – her voice and the essence of her will long live all of us that are here right now.”
Wonder revealed that he and Franklin were discussing working on “The Future,” a song he wrote, as recently as two months ago. The Grammy-winner urged for the world to celebrate the “Respect” singer’s legacy by playing her music.
“I love you Aretha, and that’s a forever thing,” he said. Franklin passed away on Thursday after her battle with pancreatic cancer.
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Christina Santi is a news and culture writer for EBONY.com. Born and raised in the Bronx, New York, she considers herself a well-read, not so traditional feminist with a heavy interest in music, fashion and pop culture. Christina currently lives in New York City, where she refers to her Cuban & Jamaican descent often while writing about her experiences as a first-generation Afro-Latinx in America. She also devotes time writing personalized reading material for her tutees and turning ideas into words for streetwear brand, PUER By Noel Bronson.