Smokey Robinson shares childhood stories, sings song at Aretha Franklin's funeral

Robinson sings song for Franklin

DETROIT – Smokey Robinson spoke about his friendship with Aretha Franklin at her funeral Friday and sang a song for her at Greater Grace Temple in Detroit.

Robinson said he was 8 years old, outside shooting marbles with neighborhood friends, when he met Franklin's brother. He said he went over to her house and heard her playing the piano and singing.

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"I go and look in that room and I see you, and you're there and you're singing," Robinson said. "It was my first meeting and my first sight of you. From that moment on, almost, we have been so, so close and so tight and I didn't know, especially this soon that I was going to have to say goodbye to you."

Robinson said he and Franklin would talk about how they were the longest remaining friends from their childhood group.

"Now my longest friend has gone home, and you want to be with our Father, like we all have to do one of these days," Robinson. "You're going to be one of the featured voices in the choir of angels."

Robinson said he's been watching the celebration of Franklin's life while on the road.

"The world is celebrating you, and the world is mourning you, and the world is going to miss you," Robinson said. "I know I'm going to miss you so much."

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Robinson said awhile back he did a miniseries with Franklin on the Temptations life, and he wrote a song for the movie.

"I'm sure he won't mind if I sing a little bit of it for you because it fits you so perfectly in my life," Robinson said.

You can watch Robinson's song and his full remarks in the video posted above.

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Derick is the Lead Digital Editor for ClickOnDetroit and has been with Local 4 News since April 2013. Derick specializes in breaking news, crime and local sports.