Abdul "Duke" Fakir, the lone surviving original member of the Four Tops and a longtime friend of the late Aretha Franklin, poses in front of the Motown Museum Wednesday, Aug. 22, 2018, in Detroit. Fakir says he has stopped going to funerals in recent years, because he has lost so many close friends he can't take it anymore. But the Motown great says he won't miss the chance to pay his final respects to Franklin, who will be laid to rest on Aug. 31. (AP Photo/Mike Householder)

Four Tops' "Duke" Fakir recalls times, last talk with Aretha

August 22, 2018 - 3:19 pm
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DETROIT (AP) — Abdul "Duke" Fakir stopped going to funerals in recent years because he's lost so many close friends, but he says he won't miss the chance to pay his final respects to his "Baby Sis."

The lone surviving original member of the Four Tops plans to attend the private funeral Aug. 31 for Aretha Franklin.

The 82-year-old Fakir tells The Associated Press Wednesday he'll "be at that one," because "she's family."

He says he spoke to her by phone days before her death last Thursday. A family representative told him her eyes opened and she said, "Bernadette" — a favorite Four Tops song of hers.

The funeral for the Queen of Soul will be held at Detroit's Greater Grace Temple and caps several days of high-profile memorials.

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