“I must tell you, I am retiring this year,” she told reporter Evrod Cassimy. She said her new album would feature production by Stevie Wonder, and she was “exuberant” about it. However, she said that despite retirement, she wouldn’t be stopping completely.
She said she planned to do “some select things, many one a month, for six months out of the year”, but that she wanted to spend more time with her grandchildren as they went off to college.
“I feel very, very enriched and satisfied with respect to where my career came from and where it is now,” Franklin said. “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.”
The new album is to be entirely composed of originals and recorded in Detroit. “I keep my business in Detroit, or as close to Detroit as possible,” she said.
In recent years, Franklin – who turns 75 this year – has suffered ill-health. In 2010, she had to cancel shows for medical reasons, and underwent emergency abdominal surgery. Though she denied reports she had pancreatic cancer, she later admitted to having had a tumour removed. Last year, too, she had to cancel shows owing to illness.