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Aretha Franklin aka the Queen of Soul is putting her tour life to rest.

The iconic singer confirmed to a Detroit television station this week that she’s “retiring.” Franklin suggested, “This will be my last year. I will be recording, but this will be my last year in concert. This is it.”

Despite bringing an impressive 60-year-career to an end, there won’t necessarily be an abrupt stop. Per the singer, she will do “some select things … One a month, for six months out of the year.”

When asked why now, the 74-year-old explained that there’s so much more life, like spending time with her family. “I feel very, very enriched and satisfied with respect to where my career came from, and where it is now,” she 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.”

Given there’s still one more album left for the soul singer, you better believe it’s going to be one for the books. “Of course, several of the songs are going to be produced by Stevie Wonder and of course there’s only one Stevie, right? It’s kind of multi-[directional]. We’re not pigeonholed to any one thing,” she said.

Last year, Aretha was forced to cancel a series of performances due to health problems. In August 2016, the Detroit native confirmed that “due to doctors’ orders, I will have to cancel a few concerts for the next month or so.” The health concerns were never disclosed.

Franklin’s last project was her 2014 LP Aretha Franklin Sings the Great Diva Classics.

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Exclusive: The Bullet Scars That Will Forever Haunt Sheryl Lee Ralph’s Son, Etienne Maurice



Sheryl Lee Ralph shared a graphic photo on Instagram earlier this week of her son, Etienne Maurice, laying in a hospital bed bandaged up from bullet wounds. The purpose of the image was to be yet another voice calling to end gun violence.

On Wednesday, students across the country walked out of class to protest against gun violence, something that hit home for Ralph four years ago. “This mother wants #gunreform now! #guncontrol now,” she wrote.

It was during a night out in West Philadelphia that Ralph’s then 22-year-old child was robbed at gunpoint and shot three times; twice in the leg and one which grazed his forehead.

So as Ralph joined Wednesday’s national conversation about gun laws, HipHollywood talked exclusively with Etienne who shared exactly what went down the night a gun could have taken his life for good.

“I was shot four years ago, November 9 … I was black out drunk. The next thing I know I remember I woke up in the hospital, doctor said I had two bullet holes in my leg and a grazed bullet hole above my eyebrow.”

Maurice, who was robbed for his iPhone and his wallet, went on to tell us that this is something that he is reminded of constantly. “Having been shot is something that I carry with me every day. I still have numbness at the bottom of my leg from the nerve damage.”

And while he will always remember how he felt knowing his life almost ended, Etienne had a hard time fathoming how his famous mother felt. “We had the conversation about it last week and she said she peed on herself,” he told us.

For Maurice, he’s proud to see young children use their voices to make change. “There’s so many angles where we can talk about gun violence and how it’s effecting different communities,” he said. “Gun reform needs to take place now.”

Since that night, he hasn’t picked up a drink and has been now sober for four years. As for the suspects, a father-son duo, they are behind bars for attempted man slaughter.

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