Aretha Franklin: ‘I am retiring this year’
Soul legend Aretha Franklin plans to retire following the release of her next album later this year.
The Respect singer, who began her career in the 1960s, revealed during an interview with Detroit TV station WDIV Local 4 that she will soon be recording an album and after its release around September, she would be retiring.
“I must tell you, I am retiring this year,” she said. “This will be my last year… I will be recording, but this will be my last year in concert. This is it.”
She said the decision was bittersweet because it’s “what I’ve done all of my life” but she wants to spend more time with her grandchildren before they go off to college.
However, the 74-year-old isn’t going to stop working altogether and will still book select engagements.
“I feel very, very enriched and satisfied with respect to where my career came from, and where it is now,” she explained. “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.”
In recent years, the singer has cut down on her performance schedule due to her age and ill health. In 2010, she had to cancel shows when she underwent emergency abdominal surgery and she later revealed she had a tumour removed.
Speaking of her upcoming album, which will be recorded in Detroit, Michigan and largely produced by Stevie Wonder, Aretha said she “can’t wait to get in the studio”. The songs will all be originals and the music will go in several different directions, she added, saying, “We’re not pigeonholed to any one thing.”
She is planning to go on a small tour in support of the album but she won’t perform more than once a month and the tour will only last “maybe for six months.”