The final days of Aretha Franklin
Brookshire said she last saw Franklin a few years ago after she and others were “summoned” to one of her concerts.
She said she gave the singer yellow roses, which were among her favorites, and spent time honoring her.
Working for “The Queen of Soul” could be excruciating, Brookshire said, as she could be demanding. But the former publicist said she valued the experience.
“It kept me on my game,” she said.
Now a practitioner of naturopathy, an herbalist, a bestselling author and a host of the SiriusXM show “Ask the Good Doctor,” Brookshire speaks lovingly of “Ms. Aretha.”
As a high-profile publicist at Arista Records, Brookshire worked with other prominent artists, including Whitney Houston and Sean “Diddy” Combs, under the tutelage of the impresario Clive Davis.
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But “Ms. Aretha” was one of a kind, and Brookshire said she managed to live “a dignified life” in an era when social media dictates open access to celebrities.
“We live in a time of the Kardashians. They want to put their lives on front street, and I think the public is mindful of those who do and those who don’t,” Brookshire said. “Ms. Aretha exhibited nothing but demanding the utmost of respect.”
Those who knew her best have been grieving, but Brookshire takes comfort in knowing what Franklin would want her legacy to be.
“That she was undeniably the queen,” Brookshire said. “For us to never get that confused. Although she is dead, her music will live on forever.”