Aretha Franklin says she plans to mostly retire from music after the release of a new album in September produced in part by Stevie Wonder.
“I must tell you, I am retiring this year,” the Queen of Soul told Detroit TV station WDIV. “I feel very, very enriched and satisfied with respect to where my career came from and where it is now. . . . I’ll be pretty much satisfied, but I’m not going to go anywhere and just sit down and do nothing. That wouldn’t be good either.”
Franklin, 74, said she may do some “select” appearances, maybe one a month for half the year, adding that she wanted to spend more time with her grandchildren.
“This will be my last year,” the first woman inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame told the TV station. “I will be recording, but this will be my last year in concert. . . . This is it.”
In late 2015, Franklin notably brought then-President Barack Obama and many others in attendance to tears with her surprise performance of “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman” at the Kennedy Center Honors for Carole King. Her memorable fur-dropping, showstopping delivery put to rest any questions of her health, though last year she canceled a series of shows due to “doctor’s orders.”
The R&B legend says her upcoming album will feature all-new material. It’s the follow-up to her 2014 album, “Aretha Franklin Sings the Great Diva Classics,” in which she tackled songs from Adele, Prince and Etta James.
In related news, on Wednesday, R&B singer Al Jarreau, 76, announced he was also retiring from touring because of health reasons, canceling his entire 2017 tour.