Aretha Franklin's ex-husband says the late star was ''strong until the very end''.

Glynn Turman, who was married to Aretha, 76, from 1978 to 1984, visited the star at her Detroit home with Stevie Wonder on Tuesday (14.08.18), two days before she passed away following a battle with pancreatic cancer, and he praised her resilience.

Speaking to ITV's 'Good Morning Britain', Glynn, 71, said: ''We were just both on the plane to pay our respects, both trying to hold onto the hope that everything would be alright.

''[When I got there] someone said, 'Aretha, Glynn is here.' And she perked up a bit there, opened her eyes and we were able to make contact, and then I could see from the look in her eyes she knew I was there. I was holding her hand at her bedside, holding her wrist. Her pulse was so strong and full of life. Her breathing was such a defiance of what was attacking her. She was a strong woman to the very end.''

Glynn also praised his former wife for her ability to make him laugh with her large ''repertoire of jokes''.

He said: ''She had a repertoire of jokes she would try out on anyone. There are some, but I can't tell you what they are. She could make a situation funny... it would crack you up.

''She was full of life, a very curious woman, she wanted to try things.''

And he also loved her strong spirit, saying: ''She did it with a tremendous will - you had to come up with a strong argument to change her mind.''

One of Glynn's best memories from their six-year marriage, was when Aretha sang for Britain's Queen Mother.

He said: ''It meant a lot to her and all of us. I never forget the Queen Mother being as gracious as she was.

''The great [singer] Sammy Davis Jr introduced her to the Queen Mother in a way that was spectacular and I never forgot it.

''As gracious as the Queen Mother was, you know, Princess Diana was there and Prince Charles, Sammy suddenly said: 'But we also have royalty in America.' [He said] 'We have the Duke of Ellington, the Count of Bassey, and ladies and gentlemen I bring you the queen of soul.''

The 'Respect' singer's family announced her death in a statement on Thursday (16.08.18).

They said: ''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.

''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. As we grieve, we ask that you respect our privacy during this difficult time.''