The Queen of Soul will retire for good after the release of her forthcoming 2017 album. In an interview with WDIV Local 4 in Detroit, Aretha Franklin said, “I am retiring this year. I will be recording, but this will be my last year in concert. This is it.” Franklin will leave behind an extraordinary career and legacy, and said she feels “very, very enriched and satisfied with respect to where my career came from and where it is now.”
Over the course of her career, Franklin has won multiple Grammys and performed at Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama’s presidential inaugurations. In 1987, she became the first woman to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. To say her career has been successful would be a wild understatement. However, even though she is retiring soon, Franklin said she’s not going to just disappear: “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 album was 2014’s Aretha Franklin Sings The Great Diva Classics, which Paste’s Hilary Saunders said attempted “to bridge the old and the new, connecting the original Queen of Soul to the generations who will continue to follow this musical role model.” Later this year, Franklin, in collaboration with long-time friend Stevie Wonder, will begin her final album. Franklin promises the album to be multi-directional, stating they don’t plan on being “pigeonholed” into any one genre.
Listen below to Paste Cloud video of Franklin circa 1971, and check out our list of the 10 best Aretha songs of all time.