Aretha Franklin Announces Retirement, Final Album

Stevie Wonder will collaborate on forthcoming 2017 album

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Aretha Franklin Announces Retirement, Final Album
Aretha Franklin plans to cut her performances down to one or two a month after the release of a new record later in 2017.

Aretha Franklin intends to drastically reduce the frequency of her performances following the release of a new full-length in the fall. "I am retiring this year," the singer told WDIV Local 4 in Detroit. "I will be recording, but this will be my last year in concert. This is it."

Franklin feels comfortable stepping away from active duty with her remarkable legacy intact. "I feel very, very enriched and satisfied with respect to where my career came from and where it is now," she noted. "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's last full-length, Aretha Franklin Sings the Great Diva Classics, came out in 2014, featuring covers of songs by Adele, Gloria Gaynor and Chaka Khan. On that album, she worked with producers well-versed in the ways of modern pop – notably R&B ace Babyface and the rapper André 3000.

Later this year, the legendary soul singer will return to the studio to make a new record. She described the album as "kind of multi-(directional)." "We're not pigeonholed to any one thing," she added. She recruited her old pal Stevie Wonder to help with her latest project. "Of course, several of the songs are going to be produced by Stevie (Wonder)," she said. "There's only one Stevie, right?"