Soul Legend Aretha Franklin to retire


Queen of Soul hangs up her vocal chords. Image by Atlantic Records

The Queen of Soul has announced her retirement from music to spend time with family, but promises one last album

Aretha Franklin is to retire from music after a career spanning six decades. The Respect singer made her announcement on a Detroit TV show. Franklin revealed she is stepping down to spend time with her grandchildren. Adding she will collaborate with Stevie Wonder for a final album, before hanging up the mic.

The much-loved singer has achieved more than 20 No 1 singles in the US. She won the Grammy for best R&B vocal performance for eight consecutive years from 1968 to 1975. Franklin was the first women to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and was awarded the Presidential Medal Of Freedom by President George W Bush in 2015.

Franklin has suffered from ill health in recent years. But there is nothing to suggest this is the reason for her decision. She said: “I feel very enriched and satisfied with respect to where my career came from and where it is now.”

Adding she would not “sit down and do nothing.”

Starting her career with Columbia Records in 1960, her first single was Today I Sing The Blues. The song reached the top ten of the Hot Rhythm & Blues Seller chart. In 1967 Franklin signed to Atlantic Records, eventually teaming up with the Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section. They went on to record the song Respect, which became a civil rights and feminist anthem.

The singer struggled during the disco era, but an appearance in the 1980’s film The Blues Brothers revitalised her career. More hits followed, including a duet with George Michael. I Knew You Were Waiting (For Me) was an international No 1. In 2015 she sang in front of President Obama for the second time.

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