Aretha Franklin Announces Her Final Album and Retirement: ‘This Is It’
Aretha Franklin, the legendary Queen of Soul, has announced that she's retiring from performances and releasing one final album later this year.
"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 debuted in the early 1960s and broke through to superstardom in 1967, on the success of her acclaimed album I Never Loved A Man the Way That I Love You. From there, Aretha would become one of the most successful artists in music history, releasing a string of hits like "(You Make Me Feel Like A) Natural Woman," "Respect," "Think," "Call Me," "Day Dreaming," "Until You Come Back To Me" and classic albums like Lady Soul and Spirit In the Dark.
Aretha would continue her commercial success into the 1980s and 1990s, being hailed as one of the greatest artists of all-time, with 18 Grammys won and 75 million albums sold. She's been hailed as one of the greatest vocalists of all time and is one of the best pianists of the rock and soul era. Franklin worked with everyone from Curtis Mayfield to Babyface, and penned several of her own classics, including "Sweet Sweet Baby (Since You've Been Gone)," "Think" and "Rock Steady."
Aretha's previous album, Aretha Franklin Sings the Great Diva Classics, was released in 2014.
"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."
And for her final album, Aretha is working with a fellow icon.
"Of course, several of the songs are going to be produced by Stevie (Wonder)," she said. "There's only one Stevie, right?"