The Ring Magazine/Getty Images; Ron Galella/WireImageMusic legend and civil rights activist Aretha Franklin is among the prominent figures in the black community who had a long-standing friendship with Muhammad Ali. Speaking with ABC Radio, the Queen of Soul remembered the late heavyweight champ as a “shining example” to the world.

Franklin descibed Ali as “a true original. Like a Rembrandt or a Van Gogh or a Degas or one of those.” He also, she revealed, had an unexpectedly fun side.

“He loved magic, he loved tricks,” Franklin said, laughing. “And if he had a new trick, that was the greatest thing. He’d love to show it to you or try it on you.”

In 1967, Ali was was arrested and found guilty of draft evasion charges and stripped of his boxing title when he refused to fight in Vietnam due to his religious beliefs. He later appealed the conviction, which was overturned in 1971. “He was a shining example of strength and courage in a time and in a situation that was very trying,” Franklin told ABC Radio. “He stood up nevertheless like a man and was a shining example to the world.”

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