Abdul “Duke” Fakir said he stopped going to funerals in recent years because he has lost so many close friends and he can’t take any more. But the lone surviving original member of the Four Tops said he won’t miss the chance to pay his final respects next week to his “Baby Sis,” Aretha Franklin.
“I’ll be at that one,” Fakir told The Associated Press on Wednesday. “That’s ’cause she’s a sister. She’s family. I’ll be there.”
Fakir plans to attend the private funeral Aug. 31 at Detroit’s Greater Grace Temple, which caps days of high-profile memorials to the Queen of Soul. Public viewings will take place Aug. 28-29 at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History.
Fakir, interviewed at the Motown Museum in the former studio where his group recorded many of their 1960s hits, said he has been “in mourning” like many across the world since Franklin died last Thursday in the city she long called home. But her death hits particularly close to home given their history: The Four Tops toured and recorded with Franklin several times over the decades, and they remained close until the end of her life.