Stevie Wonder has praised Aretha Franklin as a ''great human being''.

The soul legend tragically passed away on Thursday (16.08.18) at the age of 76 after being ''gravely ill'' for some time, and her longtime friend and fellow music icon Stevie has paid tribute to her ''incredible'' talent and character.

He said: ''She did incredible music, incredible singer. She touched every genre. Every singer was influenced in some way by the way she sang, and they will forever be influenced by her because of her voice, her emotion, her sincerity is unforgettable.

''She was just consistently a great human being, and she always - even with whatever turmoil may have been happening in her life, even through her illness - she did not put that on anybody else.

''She believed, I think that most of all she was doing God's work, and she was. She brought joy to others' lives, and she will - her voice and the essence of her will long [outlive] all of us that are here right now.''

Stevie, 68, went to visit Aretha at her Detroit home just a few days before she passed away, and although he says she ''wasn't able'' to speak to him, he managed to tell her everything that was on his mind.

He added: ''She wasn't able to speak back, but her family felt that she could hear me, and so I just said all the things that I've always said and told her to say hello to my sister - that I lost this year as well.''

The 'Superstition' hitmaker made his comments whilst appearing on 'CBS This Morning' on Friday (17.08.18), where he also attempted to perform a song in tribute to Aretha, but had to stop after being overcome with emotion.

He said: ''I love you Aretha, and that's a forever thing. I'm too emotional to think about any singing right now.''