Aretha Franklin & Stevie Wonder during VH1 Presents: "Divas Live: The One and Only Aretha Franklin" at Radio City Music Hall in New York City, New York, United States. (Photo by KMazur/WireImage)
Stevie has paid tribute to his close friend (Picture: KMazur/WireImage)

Stevie Wonder has broken his silence on the passing of his close friend Aretha Franklin.

The Queen Of Soul passed away yesterday aged 76 at her home in Detroit, following a battle with pancreatic cancer.

It had been said that Stevie visited his friend earlier this week after reports she was gravely ill – and now, the legendary singer has revealed that he told Aretha to say hello to his late sister when he visited the Franklin home on Tuesday.

Speaking to CBS This Morning, the 68-year-old said: She wasnt able to speak back, but her family felt that she could hear me, and so I just said all the things that Ive always said and told her to say hello to my sister – that I lost this year as well.

PASADENA, CA - SEPTEMBER 07: Singers Aretha Franklin (L) and Stevie Wonder onstage at the 10th Annual Soul Train Lady of Soul Awards held at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium on September 7, 2005 in Pasadena, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
The stars often collaborated, and were working on new music (Picture: Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

But, you know, she did incredible music, incredible singer. She touched every genre. Every singer was influenced in some way by the way she sang, and they will forever be influenced by her because of her voice, her emotion, her sincerity is unforgettable.

Advertisement Advertisement

Stevie went on: 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.

She believed, I think that most of all she was doing Gods 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.

The Isnt She Lovely singer always cited Franklin as an inspiration, having grown up in Detroit himself, and Aretha covered Stevies song Until You Come Back To Me – which Wonder says she made her own.

More: Stevie Wonder

And the pair were discussing collaborating as recently as two months ago.

Wonder told the news programme: Wed been talking about it. There was a song that I had written called The Future, and we were going to sing it together. And so, I thought I cried my last tear.

Stevie visited Aretha on Tuesday along with her ex Glynn Turman, while Jesse Jackson visited her on Wednesday, the day before she died.

Franklins family are believed to be planning an open casket public memorial at Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History in Detroit, with thousands of fans expected to attend.

Advertisement Advertisement

Celebrities including Barbara Streisand, Elton John, Carole King and Diana Ross have paid tribute to Aretha, as well as former US Presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama and current POTUS Donald Trump.

Got a story?

If you've got a story, video or pictures get in touch with the Entertainment team by emailing us [email protected], calling 020 3615 2145 or by visiting our Submit Stuff page – we'd love to hear from you.

MORE: Max Lomas, who found Bobbi Kristina Browns body in bathtub, dies of suspected overdose

MORE: Paul Chuckle carries beloved brother Barrys coffin as legendary entertainer is laid to rest

Advertisement Advertisement

[contf] [contfnew]


[contfnewc] [contfnewc]