In his first interview since the death of childhood friend and fellow musician Aretha Franklin, legendary singer-songwriter Smokey Robinson recalled on "Good Morning America" Friday the first time they met in Detroit.
"I hear a piano being played and I hear this little voice singing," Robinson, 78, said. "And I look in, and there's Aretha sitting there at the piano, singing and playing almost like she sang and played in her adult life.
"But she was probably about five years old or so and she just had it."
Robinson, the founder and frontman of Motown group the Miracles, also spoke about the friendship that developed between him and Franklin, who died Thursday at 76.
"Aretha and I were just tight," he said. "We had a wonderful, wonderful friendship that lasted throughout her entire life. Up until the day before yesterday, Aretha was my longest friend on earth."
But their friendship had little to do with successful show business careers, he said.
"When we were kids, when we were young, we all wanted that," he said of the fame. "Diana Ross lived four doors down the street. The Four Tops, we had two blocks over. And The Temptations lived three blocks over.
“There were a lot of us in that neighborhood and those of us who were blessed enough to get our wish or our dream to be in show business, we just always had regular relationships."
As for what fans don't know about Franklin, Robinson said there was much more to the “Queen of Soul."
"Aretha had a great sense of humor," he said. "... she could throw down in the kitchen. She cooked me many of meals.
"She was just a great person, great cook, great woman."