Elton John mourns loss of Aretha Franklin

Elton John. (File)
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NEW YORK (AP) Last year at Elton John's AIDS foundation gala, he was crying over Aretha Franklin.

John says he was shocked to see how thin she was.

He says she "just smiled her sweet smile" and told him she didn't want to let him down.

It turned out to be her final public performance.

John held a gala for the foundation Monday in New York, featuring Sheryl Crow and Tony Bennett.

It raised $3.9 million.

John says the organization started off on the kitchen table in Atlanta and has grown to raise $430 million worldwide.