Detroit Tigers great Willie Horton remembers longtime friend Aretha Franklin

The world continues to say goodbye to the Queen of Soul, including Detroit Tigers great Willie Horton.

"I don't have the right word to say  the love I have for her," said Horton.

He spent the day reflecting on his dear friend Aretha Franklin, a woman he's known since he was a teenager growing up in Detroit. 

"I know she is gone to heaven but she's still here," he said.

They were in the same circle with the likes of Smokey Robinson and other Motown legends before they were superstars. He says Aretha was a staple in his life back then until her death. 

"Sometimes you just need somebody to put your arms around and just talk to," Horton said. "She was the one who was there for you."

Aretha is obviously known for her voice on stage but Horton remembers her defining voice during the Civil Rights movement and the '67 riots. Horton says her father who was a minister and civil rights leader inspired her. 

"She always did a song about life and at the right time," he said.

Her songs became anthems through the decades when Aretha eventually earned the title as the Queen of Soul, there was even a point where Horton couldn't believe that was his Aretha, the woman he'd known forever. 

"She was downt to earth and  didn't have to be, God kept her humble," Horton said.

God played a significant role in Aretha's life from a young age as the daughter of a pastor. Willie said his own faith and Aretha's songs on repeat are helping him get through this sad time. 

"I just thank the good Lord for the time that we did have."