Right at the top, KISS bassist Gene Simmons told HLN on Thursday that people may think he's an odd choice to speak about the late Aretha Franklin, "but I loved Aretha like tens of millions of people."
Then he choked up for a few seconds before giving a very heartfelt and personal recollection of his own introduction to and, eventually, interactions with the Queen of Soul. Included in the six-minute tribute, the story of how he once nearly was able to arrange a duet recording between Franklin and his then girlfriend, Diana Ross, by simply calling Aretha directly and asking if she'd be interested. She was, but it never happened anyway.
BTW HLN Lady, Paul Stanley is the lead singer of KISS.