Paul Warner/WireImageFriday’s homegoing funeral service for Aretha Franklin will undoubtedly be star studded, but unfortunately, one of Aretha’s closest celebrity friends and fellow singers can’t make it: the incomparable Patti LaBelle.
LaBelle tells ABC Radio she’s torn that she’ll be missing Franklin’s funeral on Friday, but due to a previous engagement, she won’t be able to attend.
“I’m gonna be overseas for her services, so I filmed something for them to play at her memorial,” LaBelle explains. “Because I can’t be there. And I have talked to her family members and they said that I was one of the ladies who she wanted to perform.”
She continues, “I just would do anything to be there but I can’t. But my heart is there with her family, her sons, and her nieces and…everybody. All the people who are left stranded.”
It’s still hard for Ms. LaBelle to talk about the loss of the Franklin. Although the two women are considered music icons in their own right, LaBelle says she’s always looked up to Franklin. In fact, when she passed, LaBelle admits she lost it.
“I can never say enough for Aretha Franklin…her memory…she’ll never ever be forgotten,” LaBelle says. “Her music can last for twenty lifetimes. She was the greatest.”
“I mean, I always said to her when I would do interviews, that, ‘Aretha Franklin is my greatest inspiration, as far as vocals, and who she is, and just the voice, and her piano playing,'” she adds. “Everything she touched turned to gold. And when she left, I cried like a baby.”
However, LaBelle knows that even though Aretha’s gone, she lives on through her music.
“We have all the oldies and everything she did back in the day to listen to forever, and ever. Amen.”
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