Aretha Franklin told Detroit's Local 4 (via EW) that she's ready to hang it up in 2017. "I must tell you, I am retiring this year," the 74-year-old Queen of Soul said. "This will be my last year. I will be recording, but this will be my last year in concert. This is it."
Aretha is looking to spend more time with her college-bound grandchildren. She told the TV station the choice to retire is bittersweet, as "it's what I've done all of my life." But she feels "exuberant" about her next record, which will consist entirely of original songs and potentially release in September. The supporting tour will feature just one show per month and will run for "maybe six months."
Aretha has released more than 40 studio albums; the last was 2014's Aretha Franklin Sings the Diva Classics. Since 2010, she has publicly dealt with health issues and been forced to cancel a number of concerts; she had to nix five in late 2016.
"I feel very, very enriched and satisfied with respect to where my career came from, and where it is now," she told Local 4. "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."
Watch Swedish up-and-comer Léon tell Fuse which Aretha Franklin track is one of her top five soul songs: