Teary-Eyed Stevie Wonder Pays Emotional Tribute To Friend Aretha Franklin

Aretha Franklin – Stevie Wonder Remembers Legendary Singer
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Aug. 17 2018, Updated 4:52 p.m. ET

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A teary-eyed Stevie Wonder called fellow music legend Aretha Franklin one of his greatest inspirations, as the superstar remembered his friend a day after her death.

"She was just consistently a great human being,” Wonder told CBS This Morning. “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.”

As Radar reported, Franklin passed away on Thursday, August 16 surrounded by her family and friends in her native Detroit. The 76-year-old succumbed to advanced pancreatic cancer, according to her family.

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Franklin was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2010. While her treatment seemed to be working, the illness came back in 2017. In her final days, family members admitted the music icon was “very ill.”

Wonder was one of the last people to see her alive, visiting her Tuesday.

“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 reflected.

The “Isn’t She Lovely” singer, 68, choked up as he described her “incredible” music.

“She touched every genre,” he continued. “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."

Wonder revealed the two were talking about working together as recently as two months ago, joining to sing a song he wrote for them. And although the world will never hear that collaboration, Wonder takes comfort in knowing Franklin’s legacy will continue to shine.

“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," he said.

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