Aretha Franklin gets engaged at 69 to her long time companion Willie Wilkerson
Aretha Franklin, the Grammy-winning singer, announced she is engaged to long-time companion William “Willie” Wilkerson.
Aretha Franklin, 69, said in a statement today that she and Willie Wilkerson are considering a summer wedding, perhaps in Miami Beach, Florida.
The singer wants to follow the ceremony with a reception on a private yacht.
Aretha Franklin joked: “No, I’m not pregnant.”
The Queen of Soul and Willie Wilkerson became engaged over the holidays.
Aretha Franklin is considering Vera Wang, Valentino and Donna Karan to design her dress.
It will be the third wedding for Aretha Franklin, who has four children.
The singer was married to her then manager, Ted White, during the ’60s and split from her second husband actor Glynn Turman in 1984 after five years together.
Aretha Franklin recently said she is feeling “fabulous” again after suffering from a serious health issue in 2010.
The singer was reported to have been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer – claims which Aretha Franklin denied.
However, Aretha Franklin did undergo an unidentified surgery in December that year and she had cancelled concerts and personal appearances up until May.
Her more transformed physique has now promoted rumors she underwent gastric bypass surgery.
But Aretha Franklin said in a recent interview that she “would never” go under the surgeon’s knife for weight loss surgery.
Asked if she had had a gastric bypass, Aretha Franklin replied: “Definitely not – and would not. I heard that rumor. I said, <<That is crazy>>. It definitely was not the bariatric or, what is it, gastric… Yeah, I can’t even tell you the correct name of it.
“It’s really not necessary to talk about one’s personal medical health.”
Aretha Franklin also addressed the rumors about reports she had pancreatic cancer and said: “There was just so many wild things out there and just so many things being said that weren’t true…
“I just felt I needed to address it a little.”
“I don’t know where pancreatic cancer came from, she states. I was sitting there reading the newspaper and it was saying someone in my family said that.”
Aretha Franklin clarified: “No one in my family ever said that to anybody.”
Although she did not state what the nature of her health concerns were, Aretha Franklin said that her doctors believe the surgery she had “is going to add 15 to 20 more years” to her life.