Despite her recent announcement that she plans to stop touring, Aretha Franklin remains busy inside the recording studio, revealing her upcoming album — set to be released later this year — will feature collaborations with a number of A-list artists.
Among the artists set to appear on her new album — which has yet to nail down a title — are Steve Wonder, Elton John, Lionel Richie and violinist Yitzak Perlman.
“Lionel’s working on his piece, Stevie’s working on his piece; they’re both originals,” the Queen of Soul tells Billboard, noting that she and Sir Elton will be duetting on his classic “Your Song.”
“I’m working on a couple of things,” Franklin adds. “I think there will be about 10 [songs] on it, maybe 11, but I’m thinking 10.”
In her interview, Franklin also explains her decision to stop touring. “After 54 years of traveling and flying and all of that can be very tiring, and even the tour bus takes a lot out of you,” she says. “I’m not happy; I’ll put it like that. I’m not happy, exactly, about not doing something that you’ve been doing for 54 years that you really, really love. But there’s a warranty on everything. Nothing lasts forever.”
And while she’s hesitant to put a time frame on when she plans to retire from the road, this doesn’t mean she doesn’t have plenty of projects to keep her occupied.
“I just won’t be traveling the way I used to or doing anything like I used to in terms of concerts.” she says. “It used to be five or six; I’ll only be doing one, maybe two — and maybe none. But I have other things I want to do. There’s a lot going on.”
Among those projects: a new line of food she’s developing with Krispy Kreme. “We’re going to be doing some kitchen testing over the summer, testing recipes and perfecting them,” she says. “That and the CD are more on the front burner.”