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Celebs Step Up — And Out

While some singers are retiring, others are back!

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    The World's a Stage

    When it comes to the music industry, one of the only true constants is change. Here are six singers or bands with plans to take a break from the limelight this year and six singers or bands that plan to be more in the public eye.

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  • Jon Pack/NBC/Getty Images

    Aretha Franklin/ Stepping Out

    At 74, Aretha Franklin has announced she’s retiring after 56 years of performing. The Queen of Soul said she wants to spend more time with her grandchildren. “I must tell you, I am retiring this year,” Franklin told Detroit TV station WDIV Local 4.  “I will be recording, but this will be my last year in concert. This is it.” The good news is that the legendary singer with 18 Grammy Awards will record one final album with Stevie Wonder.

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    Willie Nelson/Stepping Out

    Willie Nelson, 83, may not be retiring, but he's been forced by illness to cancel a string of concerts. No details have been released as to the nature of his illness, and he's scheduled to release a new album, God's Problem Child, on April 28, a day before he turns 84. In 2014, he told AARP The Magazine that he felt like he was 20. “Every day I ride my bike or golf or ride my horses,” he said.

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    Kenny Rogers/Stepping Out

    Kenny Rogers is currently wrapping up his world tour before retiring from show business. At 78, Rogers has said he would like to spend more time with the young twin sons he has with his fifth wife, Wanda. The Gambler told reporters, “I’ve done everything I set out to do. Every goal I’ve set, I’ve done that, and there's a point where you have to say, ‘I’ve had my turn. Let someone else have it,’ and that’s kind of where I am.”

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    David Cassidy/Stepping Out

    After a 50-year career, the former teen heartthrob David Cassidy revealed he has dementia and that he would stop touring as a musician. The 66-year-old former star of “The Partridge Family” said, “I want to focus on what I am, who I am and how I’ve been without any distractions. I want to love. I want to enjoy life."

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    Anita Baker/Stepping Out

    R&B legend Anita Baker has announced she’s retiring from music after a career spanning more than 30 years. Perhaps best known for her 1986 album, Rapture, the eight-time Grammy winner took to Twitter to dismiss rumors of a comeback tour and CD with the help of the hashtag #retired. The 59-year-old said she has no regrets.

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    Taylor Swift/Stepping Out

    Taylor Swift, who was noticeably absent from the Grammys this year, said she will not tour in 2017. After performing a pre-Super Bowl show in Houston, the 27-year-old told the crowd, “By coming to this show tonight, you are attending 100 percent of this year’s tour dates.” The 10-time Grammy winner has given no reason for her decision to take a break.

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    Lionel Richie/Stepping In

    Although Lionel Richie hasn’t really stepped out of the spotlight, he’s stepping into it in a massive way by joining forces with Mariah Carey for an “All The Hits Tour” in 2017. The 35-date tour kicks off in Baltimore on March 15. The 67-year-old Richie is behind several classics that are still popular today, including “Stuck on You” and “Hello,” to name just two.

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  • Neil H. Kitson/Getty Images

    Barry Manilow/Stepping In

    Although Barry Manilow announced last year that he was calling it quits after 45 years on the road, the 73-year-old is set to release This Is My Town: Songs of New York in April. Having sold more than 85 million albums worldwide, the native New Yorker had this to say about his upcoming release: “I’m grateful for having been raised there because I’ve always felt grounded. One of the things I’m most proud of is that having gone through the hurricane of success, I feel I’m still the same guy that took the subway every day to work in Manhattan.”

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    Guns N' Roses/Stepping In

    In 2016, the Guns N’ Roses’ reunion tour played to over 1.8 million fans. The tour started up again in Japan on Jan. 21, with European and North American legs set to begin in May. Launching last April, the tour featured Axl Rose, Slash and Duff McKagan for their first live performances together since 1993.

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    Bon Jovi/Stepping In

    Bon Jovi also is gearing up for the group’s upcoming “This House Is Not for Sale Tour,” which kicked off Feb. 8 in South Carolina. Bon Jovi released an album of the same name — the band’s 13th studio album — in November 2016. Jon Bon Jovi, now 54, has said he took a step back from music after lead guitarist Richie Sambora abruptly left the group in the middle of their 2013 tour.

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  • Rex Features/AP

    Phil Collins/Stepping In

    Although he “officially” retired in 2002, Phil Collins has performed off and on over the years. But he’s making a big splash this year with a “Not Dead Yet Tour” that will kick off in London in June. The tour will feature Collins’ son Nic, who has followed in his father’s footsteps and will be playing drums. Only last year, the 65-year-old English singer-songwriter released an autobiography, also called Not Dead Yet

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    The Revolution/Stepping In

    Following the death of Prince in April 2016, his band, the Revolution, came together for a handful of tribute shows in the musician’s hometown of Minneapolis. Now the group has announced it will come together again for a series of U.S. concerts starting in April. The group was credited on three Prince studio albums: Purple Rain, Around the World in a Day and Parade. A few members also played on 1999.

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