"Aretha was my ace. You know, she was my baby."
The passing of Aretha Franklin shook not only her close friends and family but also the millions of fans and artists who praised to the Queen of Soul for all that she gave to the world with her beautiful voice. Aretha passed on at age 76 due to pancreatic cancer and just one day after, her great friend Smokey Robinson has spoken on his "wonderful" friend and the special bond they shared.
Smokey, the founder and frontman of Motown group the Miracles, met Aretha when she was just five-years-old. "We became friends because she and her family moved to Detroit when I was eight years old," he said. "... We went around to see their new house, which was a mansion, and we're walking through the house to see and I hear this little voice and a piano playing somewhere... I peek in and there's Aretha, sitting at the piano, playing and singing, almost like she did as an adult. She was probably only about five years old, but that's how I first met her."
They went on to do many performances together, calling Aretha his "ace."
"You know, she was my baby. And so we were really, really close and to do anything with her was always a joy," he added, explaining how they were always tight. "And we had a wonderful, wonderful friendship that lasted throughout her entire life and... up until yesterday, Aretha Franklin was my longest friend on earth. All of our other friends that we grew up with were gone."