Stevie Wonder Offers Emotional Tribute to Aretha Franklin at the Singer's Funeral
Stevie Wonder is making Aretha Franklin proud.
The legendary singer paid his final respects to the Queen of Soul on Friday with a beautiful performance at her funeral in Detroit, Michigan.
Wonder kicked off the performance by playing a medley of songs on his harmonica, with the majority of the congregation standing in awe. He then spoke a few words about love and his close pal's "eternal life of bliss."
"Giving our praise to God, for the truth is... we would have never known the Queen of Soul. We would have never known the joy that she brought to us ... someone who could express in song the pain that we felt," he said. "And yes, the reason we are here today is because of love. Because of how much we loved this woman. The blessing from God was given to us."
"Please remember the greatest gift we've been given in life itself is love," he continued. "The only thing that can deliver us is love. So what needs to happen today, not only in this nation but throughout the world, is that we need to make love great again."
"Because black lives do matter. Because all lives do matter," he added, echoing what Rev. Jasper Williams said during his eulogy. "And if we love God, then we know, truly, it is our love that will make all things matter. When we make love great again, that is what Aretha said throughout her life."
Following his speech, Wonder performed his 1976 hit, "As," in which he sings, "Just as time knew to move on since the beginning / And the seasons know exactly when to change / Just as kindness knows no shame / Know through all your joy and pain / That I'll be loving you always."
Of course, the 68-year-old singer wasn't the only one who performed at the ceremony. To bid farewell to Franklin, her loved ones made sure there was plenty of incredible music to commemorate her life.
Country music star Faith Hill, Ariana Grande, Fantasia Barrino, Shirley Caesar and Oscar winner Jennifer Hudson also offered their voices in order to give the soul songstress an unforgettable send-off. Gospel singer Marvin Sapp, Vanessa Bella and the Clark Sisters also took the stage.
Wonder was a dear, longtime friend of Franklin’s. In fact, according to Fox News, he recently penned a new track titled, "The Future," which he was hoping to turn into a duet with the late soul icon. Unfortunately, it was not to be.
Prior to Franklin's death from pancreatic cancer on Aug. 16, Wonder was one of the last people to visit with her, along with Jesse Jackson and her ex-husband, Glynn Turman.
"In one of the darkest moments of our lives, we are not able to find the appropriate words to express the pain in our heart. We have lost the matriarch and rock of our family," their official statement read. "The love she had for her children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews and cousins knew no bounds. We have been deeply touched by the incredible outpouring of love and support we have received from close friends, supporters and fans all around the world. Thank you for your compassion and prayers. We have felt your love for Aretha and it brings us comfort to know that her legacy will live on.”
Hear more on Franklin in the video below.
Aretha Franklin Has a Third Outfit Change on Final Day of Public Viewing Before Funeral
Aretha Franklin's Funeral Will Be 6 1/2 Hours Long: Here's Everyone Performing
Taylor Swift Pays Tribute to Aretha Franklin With Moment of Silence During Detroit Show