Stevie Wonder fought back tears while sharing his final words to Aretha Franklin. During an interview with CBS This Morning Friday (Aug. 17), Wonder confirmed that he visited with the Queen of Soul at her home in Detroit, days before she succumbed to pancreatic cancer .
“We talked about doing some music as recent as maybe two months ago…there’s a song that I had written called ‘The Future.’ We were gonna’ sing it together,” Wonder explained before choking up.
Franklin’s death comes as another emotional loss for Wonder, whose sister died in May, which is also his birth month. Her remains were reportedly found badly decomposed inside her home. The cause of death is unclear. “I thought I'd cried my last tear,” Wonder said of his sister's death.
Earlier in the week, the Motown legend decided to fly from Los Angeles to Detroit to see Franklin one last time. “She wasn’t able to speak back but her family felt that she could hear me, so I said all the things I’ve always said and told her 'say hello to my sister.'”
In a lighter moment from the interview, Wonder talked about his first time hearing Franklin’s unforgettable voice. “I remember hearing her singing at [her father] Rev. Franklin’s church when I was around four or five years old,” he recalled. “My mother would always listen to the church services on Sunday so the voices I remember most in my life would be Dr. [Martin Luther] King, [Franklin’s] voice and her father, Rev. Franklin.”
When asked what stood out the most about the soul icon, Wonder said that Franklin’s heart was even more captivating than her voice. “She was consistently a great human being,” he said. “Even with whatever turmoil that may have been happening in her life, even in her illness, she did not want to put that on anybody. She believed, I think that most of all she was doing God’s work, and she was. She brought joy to a lot of lives.”
Franklin's family will hold a public memorial for the soul legend at Detroit's Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History ,where he body will lie in state for two days. The public viewing will be followed by a private funeral for close friends and family.
Check below to watch Wonder's full interview on Franklin.