Doctors orders have sidelined the Soul, as Aretha Franklin was forced to call off a pair of performances. The legendary blues and soul singer was set to perform a show at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center in Newark on her 76th birthday this Sunday, (March 25) as well as headline the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival in late April. According to Time, organizers say Rod Stewart will perform as the headliner instead.
“Aretha Franklin has been ordered by her doctor to stay off the road and rest completely for at least the next two months,” her management sent in a statement. “She is extremely disappointed she cannot perform at this year’s New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival as she had expected and hoped to.”
After performing for 56 years straight, the star announced last year that 2017 would be her last year of touring. Although she will continue recording and playing select shows, she was done touring, claiming, “this is it.” Her grandchildren are headed off to college and she wants to be able to spend time with them.
“I feel very, very enriched and satisfied with respect to where my career came from, and where it is now,” Franklin told Detroit’s WDIV Local 4. “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.”
Her latest record, A Brand New Me: Aretha Franklin (with The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra), included new versions of her top hits, including “Think,” “Respect,” “Son of a Preacher Man,” and “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman.”
As one of the best-selling musicians of all time, Franklin could use a little break from the limelight. She is set to perform this summer at the Wang Theatre in Boston on June 2, New York’s NYCB Theatre on June 9, and Toronto’s Jazz Festival on June 28.