First it was Al Jarreau who had to confirm earlier this week that he is going to retire from performing, and now Aretha Franklin told a TV station in Detroit that she will retire after the release of her next album, which is going to be produced by Stevie Wonder and will be out later this year.
Al Jarreau, who turns 77 next month, was scheduled to perform at the Waukegan Casino on February 24th. In a statement in the Chicago Tribune on Tuesday, Al’s agent Joe Gordon said that Al has not only canceled the rest of his 2017 tour, but he also is retiring from touring at the recommendation of his physicians. He also said that “Al is slowly improving, and said he wants to thank all his fans for supporting him and his music for the past 50 years.” And in a press release that was serviced through his management, it says that “with complete sorrow, Al Jarreau must retire from touring. He is thankful for his 50 years of traveling the world in ministry through music, and for everyone who shared this with him — his faithful audience, the dedicated musicians, and so many others who supported his effort.”
Aretha Franklin said in the Detroit TV interview that “this will be my last year. I will be recording, but this will be my last year in concert… 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.” But she said she will do “some select things, maybe one a month, for six months out of the year.” But she said her grandchildren are leaving for college and she wants to spend time with them.
Also, on her next record, she said that “of course, several of the songs are going to be produced by Stevie, and of course there’s only one Stevie, right? It’s kind of multi-(directional),” she said. “We’re not pigeonholed to any one thing.”