Aretha Franklin forced to cancel shows on doctor's orders

Aretha Franklin's health is a concern again after the soul legend pulled out of shows for the next two months under doctor's orders.

The Queen of Soul will not be performing on 25 March (18), her 76th birthday, at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center in Newark, New Jersey as planned, and she has also cancelled her appearance at the New Orleans Jazz Festival in April.

The Respect singer's management team tells USA Today on Friday (16Mar18) her physicians have ordered her to stay off the road and get solid rest for the next couple of months.

"(Aretha is) extremely disappointed she cannot perform as she had expected and hoped to," a statement to the outlet reads.

Franklin, who revealed she will only be playing at "some select things" after retiring from touring last year (17), will be replaced on the New Orleans Jazz Festival bill by Rod Stewart.

News of her double cancellations arrives just months after the music legend played down reports of poor health in December (17).

"I have lost a lot of weight due to the side effects from my medicine, but all of my tests are very good!" she told Closer Weekly, refusing to go into details about her health or the drugs she’s been prescribed.

Aretha also revealed she is still hard at work in the recording studio.

"I’m still working on a duet with Elton John," she added, referring to the singers' planned revamp of the Rocket Man's hit Your Song.

In addition to her recording work, the mother-of-four shared she is busy with family affairs now she is not travelling the world singing.

"I will be spending more time with my grandchildren and family," she said of her tour retirement plans.

Aretha has been dogged by poor health in recent years and has scrapped a number of shows, while never going into to detail about what ails her.

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