“...American history wells up when Aretha sings.”
February 9, 2017 2:45 PM   Subscribe

Queen of Soul Aretha Franklin Announces Her Retirement [The Guardian] ““I must tell you, I’m retiring this year,” the 74-year-old told the Detroit TV station WDIV Local 4, saying she wanted to spend more time with her grandchildren before they left to go to college. First, though, she will record an album part-produced by Stevie Wonder to be released in September, about which Franklin said she felt “exuberant”. Stepping back from performances was bittersweet, she said. “This is what I’ve done all of my life.” But she added: “I feel very, very enriched and satisfied with respect to where my career came from and where it is now.””
posted by Fizz (21 comments total) 21 users marked this as a favorite
 
Has she finished singing the national anthem at the Lions' Thanksgiving game yet?
posted by kevinbelt at 2:53 PM on February 9, 2017 [2 favorites]


I saw the name Aretha Franklin and my heart stopped.
posted by mochapickle at 2:53 PM on February 9, 2017 [19 favorites]


Is it weird that she's only 74? She seems eternal to me.
posted by selfnoise at 3:07 PM on February 9, 2017 [8 favorites]


Other people are going to point to other performances. But one I'm going to link to was from 1998 - the time when at literally the last minute, she agreed to be understudy for Luciano Pavarotti at the Grammys. I remember watching this the night it aired, watching Sting announce that Pavarotti was too sick to sing Nessun Dorma that night, so they were going to have.....Aretha sing it instead. I remember thinking ".....who???" when he said that. And then I remember watching this and thinking, "......daaaaaaaaaaaaaang."

A couple others -

Here's where she was a surprise performer in 2015, when they honored Carole King at the Kennedy Center Honors.

And here is one hell of a hat at the 2009 Obama Inauguration.

And here is a rewritten set of lyrics to "I Dreamed A Dream" from Les Miz at Bill Clinton's inauguration.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 3:14 PM on February 9, 2017 [19 favorites]


Yes, that Nessun Dorma performance.

Oh, yes.
posted by blurker at 3:17 PM on February 9, 2017 [5 favorites]


Enjoy your retirement and thank you so much.
posted by jonmc at 3:17 PM on February 9, 2017 [15 favorites]


I don't think she chooses the coats. She starts singing and woodland creatures just circle around her to provide a shield and enjoy the beautiful vibrations.
posted by nfalkner at 4:50 PM on February 9, 2017 [13 favorites]


I don't think she chooses the coats. She starts singing and woodland creatures just circle around her to provide a shield and enjoy the beautiful vibrations.

I like this idea.

I also like the idea that she just shows up with whatever she grabbed on the way out of the house, walked in the stage door, went straight to the stage when they announced her name without breaking stride and sat down at the piano because she knows exactly what she's doing and it's going to be this good because a lifetime of working at it that hard will make you that good.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 5:02 PM on February 9, 2017 [6 favorites]


Prediction for 2018: Aretha interrupts her retirement with three, no, four! performances at special events. (I may be under-predicting.)
posted by CCBC at 5:02 PM on February 9, 2017


I'm sad, but also glad for her. She's been ill, and I saw her perform last year, and while her voice was still amazing, she was not strong. Had to sit down and take breaks during the performance.

I would rather she retire and take it easy than push herself to keep performing.
posted by suelac at 5:05 PM on February 9, 2017 [2 favorites]


Saw her about eight years ago at Wolftrap. She fucking slew. Remember her in Blues Brothers? Damn. Godlike talent in her since she was just starting out.
posted by radicalawyer at 5:29 PM on February 9, 2017


I was still in the closet to my family in my 30s, when I accompanied my dad and stepmom to a dinner at the Elk's Lodge where he was a respected member, in a deepest dark-red Georgia township.

After dinner, the lodge fired up the karaoke machine, and after I got a snootful, I did a particularly emphatic version of R.E.S.P.E.C.T.

The next day, I came out to my parents, who surprised the heck out of me by being remarkably cool about it.

Thank you, Aretha.
posted by darkstar at 5:51 PM on February 9, 2017 [13 favorites]


I saw her a couple of years ago because a friend's concert date got sick so I went instead, and it's easily one of my top favorite shows I've ever seen. She's AMAZING.
posted by jeweled accumulation at 5:53 PM on February 9, 2017


....Okay, I never saw the entire clip from the Kennedy Center honors until just now and y'all she absolutely KILLS IT with "Natural Woman", you see Carole King absolutely flipping her shit and Obama openly weeping and about midway through Aretha does this whole James Brown thing where she whips her fur coat off and holy good god DAMN
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:03 PM on February 9, 2017 [11 favorites]


No.No. NO. YOU can't abandon us too.

she was a surprise performer in 2015, when they honored Carole King at the Kennedy Center Honors.


Mink drop.
I remember this, & Carole King's precious reaction.

I have seen Re sing in person once, and she did not sing Respect! OTOH I was a few rows back with free tix, and she was on fire for us locals that night, so...

Also, maybe I've related this before. When I was doing PR at the art museum, we arranged for her to have a private tour of an exhibition. I was listening to my coworker call what she thought was Entourage Member's number.

"Hi, this is Laura from the DIA------ ARETHA?! Oh, hi ... This is Laura from the DIA."

Other memory: Day of visit, I was struck how she didn't look, ya know, LIKE THE DAMN IMMORTAL SHE IS, just a regular person.

(BTW Speaking of work, I'm several jobs past that museum one, and today was another blech day of latest work. Also, other personal crap. So thanks for this tribute to my beloved queen.)
posted by NorthernLite at 8:59 PM on February 9, 2017 [5 favorites]


As a kid I'd ride on my skates in a loop around my mom's neighborhood and sing Aretha songs to myself. Years later my girlfriend told me that all she really wanted in her youth was to sing "Aw-whoop" behind Aretha's version of "Natural Woman," but she couldn't, because her father was the kind of racist who wouldn't let her listen to Aretha. So when we met, she and I ended every party by getting on the roof of the house and singing along to that song - never along with Aretha, but only along with her backup singers. "Aw-whoop!" When my lovely girlfriend died, 25 years ago this month, the only song I could listen to was Aretha's "Share your love with me." When Aretha shone at the Kennedy Center honors in 2015 - purse, coat, voice, age, arms, and all - it was. . . more than amazing.
posted by goofyfoot at 2:48 AM on February 10, 2017 [6 favorites]


At least she stayed around long enough to turn down the inauguration gig.
posted by Brachinus at 5:21 AM on February 10, 2017 [6 favorites]


I just love that, in the pull quote you chose for this post, she happens to say "respect."
posted by dywypi at 5:45 AM on February 10, 2017


A goddess who contributed to the sound track of my life!
posted by james33 at 7:08 AM on February 10, 2017 [1 favorite]


The first song I ever played on stage with a band was R.E.S.P.E.C.T. It was when I was in high school in the late 80s. I've always been proud of that fact.
posted by 4ster at 6:52 PM on February 10, 2017 [1 favorite]


Lovely way to say goodbye. Thanks.
posted by Theta States at 7:12 AM on February 14, 2017


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