Aretha Franklin Cancels Upcoming Concerts Due to Health Concerns

Aretha Franklin, the Queen of Soul, cancelled two upcoming concerts on the advice of her doctor.

"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 said in a statement to Entertainment Weekly. "She is extremely disappointed she cannot perform at this year’s New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival as she had expected and hoped to."

The music legend, who turns 76 on March 25, was scheduled to perform at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center in Newark, New Jersey on her birthday. She was also set to perform at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival in April. Both shows have been cancelled.

Franklin has not performed live since November 2017, when she sang at Elton John's annual AIDS Foundation gala.

In February 2017, Franklin told ClickOnDetroit that she planned to retire from performing, but would still appear at occasional major events. She was still planning on recording a new album and said she will not have more than one show planned per month.

"This will be my last year," Franklin said at the time. "I will be recording, but this will be my last year in concert. This is it."

Franklin has been followed by frequent rumors of poor health for years. In November, a tweet claiming Franklin died went viral, but the message was sent by a bogus account. And in 2011, the "Respect" singer fought back claims she was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.

“I don’t know where ‘pancreatic cancer’ came from. I was sitting there reading the newspaper and it was saying someone in my family said that,” Franklin told Access Hollywood in 2011. “No one in my family ever said that to anybody.”

Franklin is still scheduled to perform at the Wang Theatre in Boston on June 2 and at the Toronto Jazz Festival on June 28.

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Her most recent studio album is 2014's Aretha Franklin Sings the Great Diva Classics. Last year, she released A Brand New Me, a collection of old vocal recordings backed with new arrangements by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.

In January, producer Clive Davis confirmed that Jennifer Hudson will play Franklin in an upcoming biopic produced by MGM, Straight Outta Compton's Scott Bernstein and music producer Harvey Mason Jr. The project has been in the works for years, with Franklin endorsing Hudson as early as 2011.