Aretha Franklin has canceled her two major upcoming concerts on the orders of her doctor.
“Aretha Franklin has been ordered by her doctor to stay off the road and rest completely for at least the next two months,” her management sent in a statement. “She is extremely disappointed she cannot perform at this year’s New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival as she had expected and hoped to.”
Franklin was set to headline the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival in late April, and before that, had been slated to perform a concert at Newark’s New Jersey Performing Arts Center on her 76th birthday (March 25). Both gigs have now been canceled; she last performed live in November 2017, at Elton John’s annual AIDS Foundation gala.
Rumors of poor health have swirled around Franklin for years, and she has consistently rebuffed them. A little more than a year ago, she indicated she’d soon retire from touring, saying, “I am retiring this year. I will be recording, but this will be my last year in concert. This is it.”
One of the best-selling music artists of all-time, Franklin still has concert dates on her calendar for 2018. In June, the 18-time Grammy winner is scheduled to perform at the Wang Theatre in Boston and at the Toronto Jazz Festival.