Franklin's famous friends -- from creative collaborators like Babyface and Jermaine Dupri to fellow vocalists like Peabo Bryson and thought leaders like Rev. Al Sharpton -- recall stories of the singular friend and artist they knew so well.
“I’M GOING TO FIGHT UNTIL THE VERY LAST MINUTE”
I was fortunate enough to do one show with her up in Oakland, Calif., probably in 2016. I remember coming offstage and going back to see her and her saying, “You was killing them out there, ’Face! I had to come out here and see what was going on!” And then we sat and talked for a little bit. She was actually dealing with the cancer, and her attitude was, “I’m not going to let this beat me. I’m going to keep fighting this. I’m going to fight until the very last minute and keep doing what I do.” Even up to the point of that night, we talked about this guy she was starting to see. She gave me the story of what happened and wanted to get my advice on if he was for real or if he was foolish. [Later], we talked on the phone, and she said, “By the way, you was right about that guy. He didn’t do enough for me.” This was her at 74 years old. There’s no question that she lived her life all the way.