Aretha Franklin is set to retire from the stage - she's announced her tour of America this year (03) will be her last ever.

The soul legend is holding open auditions in Detroit, Michigan, next month (MAY03), for dancers for the tour - which will be dubbed ARETHA SINGS HER MUSICAL HISTORY.

Franklin says she will perform selected spot dates in the future, hut the 61-year-old R.E.S.P.E.C.T. diva vows she will never again embark on an extended, full-scale performance tour.

She explains, "I will never quit. I'll always be singing. I just won't do as much as I have been. I'm scaling it down."