(FILES) This file photo taken on December 6, 2013 shows singer Aretha Franklin performing during the National Christmas Tree Lighting ceremony in Washington, DC. / AFP PHOTO / SAUL LOEB
Gospel legend Aretha Franklin says she is retiring from recording music, but only after a final album this year that will feature Stevie Wonder.
The singer, who has been recording music since she was a child in her preacher father’s church in Detroit, turns 75 next month and said she wants to spend more time with her grandchildren.
“This will be my last year,” Franklin told Detroit television station WDIV this week.
Franklin said she will soon head to a studio in the city to record a final album with fellow Detroit music great Stevie Wonder producing several tracks.
While describing the move as retirement, Franklin said she was open to performing a limited number of concerts.
“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.”
Franklin, who has won 18 Grammys, is best known for the vocal power behind her feminist-tinged cover of Otis Redding’s “Respect.”
In recent years she has canceled a number of concerts. Last year she said that doctors had ordered her not to perform due to an unspecified condition and separately pointed to problems with her back-up band for scrapping a small tour.
She is scheduled to perform in April in New York to open the Tribeca Film Festival which will premiere a documentary on Clive Davis, the celebrated record executive who helped revive her career in the 1980s by orienting her to pop music fans.
Franklin in 2015 sang “Amazing Grace” before Pope Francis as he visited Philadelphia for the massive Festival of Families.