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Aretha Franklin announces retirement

Aretha Franklin has been singing professionally for almost 60 years, but has announced that she will be retiring at the end of 2017.

The Queen of Soul told WDIV that she will be recording an album of all original content this year that is scheduled for release in September, and then will retire from performing live.

Her nearly year-long farewell will also include a tour that will include only one appearance a month over a six-month period.

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She said she will still record, but 2017 will be the end of her concerts.

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"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 wouldn't be good either."

Franklin told WDIV that she wants to spend time with her grandchildren before they leave for college.

Franklin will turn 75 in March and has had health problems recently, Billboard reported.

According to Biography:

  • Franklin started singing in her church and released her first album "Songs of Faith" in 1956 on a small label. After taking a brief break after having a child at the age of 14 and a second at the age of 16, she signed with Columbia Records, releasing the album "Aretha" in 1961.
  • In 1966, she changed labels, signing with Atlantic, where she released music, with background musicians like Eric Clapton and Duane Allman, including "I Never Loved a Man (The Way I Love You)."
  • Her biggest hit was released in 1967. "Respect" reached number 1 on both the R&B and pop charts. She also won the first of two Grammy Awards.
  • She also had Top 10 hits, including: "Chain of Fools," "I Say a Little Prayer" and "(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman."
  • As disco became popular, Franklin saw her career start to fade, until a cameo in 1980's "The Blues Brothers."
  • In 1985, she recorded a pop album "Who's Zoomin Who?" with the single "Freeway of Love."
  • Franklin, an 18-time Grammy winner, was honored in 1987 as the first female artist to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
  • She performed for two inaugurations - one for President Bill Clinton in 1993, and again in 2009 for President Barack Obama. She was awarded a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award and a Kennedy Center Honor.
  • In 2003, she founded Aretha Records and two years later, in 2005, she was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

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