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Gladys Knight remembers the Queen of Soul: Aretha was very shy…People just don’t know that about her


Frazer Harrison/Getty Images for ABCGladys Knight will be among the stars attending Aretha Franklin‘s funeral Friday in Detroit, and she says most people don’t realize that, unlike most stars, the Queen of Soul didn’t crave the spotlight.

“Aretha was very shy,” Knight tells ETOnline. “People just don’t know that about her.” 

Like Franklin, Knight began her recording career as a teenager in the 1950s. “We were both little girls,” she recalls, “and I say little girls, even though, y’know, we have like three or four years between us, but we had that same road to go. And over the years, I saw her grow and hopefully she saw me grow.”

The two legends crossed paths many times on the road, and they loved seeing each other perform.

“It was more like us supporting each other,” the seven-time Grammy Award winner says. “We are both blessed enough to be working all the time. So, if we were anywhere near where we were going to be playing, she would just show up. I would show up.”

Knight will join many stars at the home going service, including Stevie Wonder, Smokey Robinson, Ronald Isley, Chaka Khan and Jennifer Hudson.

“You’ll see me there,” Gladys says. “I love her and I respect who she was and who she is and all of those kind of things. She was amazingly blessed. That’s the best way that I can put it.”

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