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Entertainment Weekly


Aretha Franklin says she'll retire this year

Michael Stewart/WireImage

Posted on

The Queen of Soul will hang up her crown sometime this year.

Aretha Franklin revealed the news to Detroit TV station Local 4 and said this week, “I must tell you, I am retiring this year.”

But she intends to release one more album with help from Stevie Wonder before calling it quits. Local 4 reports the album of original material, to be recorded in Detroit, is expected to release in September.

“Of course, several of the songs are going to be produced by Stevie [Wonder], and of course there’s only one Stevie, right? It’s kind of multi-[directional],” she said when discussing the new collection. “We’re not pigeonholed to any one thing.

The new studio album will be her first since 2014’s Aretha Franklin Sings the Great Diva Classics and her 42nd studio album ever. An R&B, soul, and pop icon, and the first woman to be inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, Franklin has been on the charts since the ’60s and struck gold with her first No. 1, the iconic 1967 track “Respect.”

But after more than 50 years, Franklin is ready to cut back. “This will be my last year,” Franklin told Local 4. “I will be recording, but this will be my last year in concert. This is it.”

But she did say that she’ll continue to do “some select things … one a month, for six months out of the year.”