Aretha Franklin Announces She’s Retiring This Year After Album Release

The Queen of Soul is hanging up her crown. Aretha Franklin revealed in a new interview that she plans to retire this year after she releases her upcoming, as-yet-untitled album. See what she had to say in the video above!

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Speaking to Detroit TV station WDIV Local 4 on Tuesday, February 7, the 74-year-old “Respect” singer opened up about her decision to wrap up her inimitable career, which began in January 1961 when she released her debut record, Aretha: With The Ray Bryant Combo.

“I must tell you, I am retiring this year,” Franklin – who was the first woman to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987 — told WDIV.

Aretha Franklin poses on the red carpet before the 38th Annual Kennedy Center Honors December 6, 2015 in Washington, DC.
Aretha Franklin poses on the red carpet before the 38th Annual Kennedy Center Honors Dec. 6, 2015, in Washington, D.C. MOLLY RILEY/AFP/Getty Images

At least for the moment, though, the music icon is excited to treat fans to new music, produced by pal Stevie Wonder, when she drops her next album this September.

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“I’m exuberant about it,” the Detroit resident said of her 42nd studio album, which she will record at her home in the Motor City. “I can’t wait to get in the studio and, of course, several of the songs are going to be produced by Stevie and of course there’s only one Stevie, right?”

American musician Aretha Franklin performs on stage at the Park West Auditorium, Chicago, Illinois, March 23, 1992.
American musician Aretha Franklin performs on stage at Chicago’s Park West Auditorium, March 23, 1992. Paul Natkin/Getty Images

According to the 18-time Grammy winner, she feels ready to retire because she couldn’t be more content with all that she’s accomplished as one of the world’s most celebrated entertainers. “I feel very, very enriched and satisfied with respect to where my career came from and where it is now,” she told WDIV. “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 powerhouse vocalist’s most recent album, Knew You Were Waiting: The Best of Aretha Franklin 1980-1998, was released in 2012. She will kick off a six-city tour in Poughkeepsie, New York, on March 12.

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Although she may never tour or record again after 2017, Franklin is still open to participating in “some select things, maybe once a month, for six months out of the year.”

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