Entertainment

Queen of Soul Aretha Franklin 'retiring this year'

After being a performer for more than half a century, Aretha Franklin says she's ready for retirement.

Music icon to release new album produced by Stevie Wonder in September

Aretha Franklin, seen performing at the International Jazz Day Concert at the White House in 2016, says she plans to retire after her next album. (Carolyn Kaster/Associated Press)

After performing for more than half a century, Aretha Franklin says she's ready for retirement. 

"This will be my last year," the Queen of Soul, who turns 75 in late March, told Detroit TV station WDIV Local 4.

"I will be recording, but this will be my last year in concert. This is it."

Following the release of her upcoming, Stevie Wonder-produced album this September, Franklin said she plans to retire from music-making and performance, in part to spend more time with her grandchildren, who are leaving for college.

"I feel very, very enriched and satisfied with respect to where my career came from and where it is now," Franklin said.

Still, Franklin didn't rule out the occasional gig, leaving the window open for special occasions or perhaps even one show a month for part of the year to showcase her new album of all-original material.

"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."

The singer — an 18-time Grammy-winner, recipient of the U.S. Presidential Medal of Freedom and the first woman inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame — has fought back against health issues that have regularly forced her to cancel or postpone concerts in recent years

She has been reticent to discuss any specifics about her health, simply noting, for instance, in January 2011 that she was "feeling great" after an undisclosed surgery in Detroit a month earlier.

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