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Aretha Franklin announces retirement from performing

Digital First Media, @GraffonMusic

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The Queen is taking the crown out of its road case this year.

Aretha Franklin announced that she will be retiring fro performing on Thursday, Feb. 10, during an interview with Detroit’s WDIV. The Bloomfield Hills-based music icon said that, “I am retiring this year. This will be my last year...I will be recording, but this will be my last year in concert. This is it.”

Franklin, 74, plans to release a new album this year, which she said is being recorded in the Detroit area and produced mostly by Stevie Wonder. She’ll do what she calls a “small tour” to support it but doesn’t plan to perform more than once a month for about six months.

Franklin has been dialing back her performance schedule in recent years, mostly due to undisclosed health problems that have led to the postponement and cancellation of several shows.

Franklin called the decision to retire bittersweet but added that, “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 woudln’t be good either.”

Franklin said she “can’t wait” to begin working on her new album and that the songs would all be new, original and wide-ranging compositions. “We’re not pigeonholed into anything,” she said.

During her career Franklin has won 18 Grammy Awards and was the first woman inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame -- along with the UK Music Hall of Fame and the GMA Gospel Music Hall of Fame, a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award and a Kennedy Center Honor. She’s best known for hits such as “Respect,” “Think,” “Chain Of Fools,” “Think,” “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman” and “Freeway Of Love.”

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