One of the most acclaimed soul singers of all time has announced plans to retire — with one final album in the works. Aretha Franklin told Detroit’s WDIV-TV: “I must tell you, I am retiring this year.”
Franklin, widely known as “the Queen of Soul,” made the announcement during an interview with the local NBC affiliate’s Evrod Cassimy. Franklin is best known for early hits including “Respect,” “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman” and “Think.” She has reportedly had 112 charted Billboard singles over the span of her career, including 20 No. 1 R&B hits.
The 74-year-old Memphis native has continued to maintain an active schedule of live performances. But that schedule will soon be winding down.
With her last album expected out in September, Franklin said she expects to do a few select dates in support of the record. The full tour, she said, will last “maybe for six months,” and will consist of no more than one date per month.
“This will be my last year,” Franklin said in the interview. “I will be recording, but this will be my last year in concert. This is it.”
WDIV adds: “Franklin said the announcement is bittersweet because ‘it’s what I’ve done all of my life.'”
Said Franklin: “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 noted that a number of the tracks on the new album will be produced by Stevie Wonder.