Aretha Franklin Engaged


By Rolling Stone
January 2, 2012 3:55 PM ET
aretha franklin willie wilkerson

Aretha Franklin and Willie Wilkerson arrive at Aretha Franklin’s birthday dinner at the Park Lane Hotel in New York.
Monica Morgan/WireImage

Congratulations are in order for the Queen of Soul: she’s getting married!

Today Aretha Franklin told the Associated Press that she and “longtime friend” William ‘Willie’ Wilkerson became engaged over the holidays. She added that the couple is mulling a summer wedding in Miami Beach with a reception to follow on a private yacht, and that she is considering ordering a custom dress from one of three prominent designers: Valentino, Donna Karan or Vera Wang.

The powerhouse singer has fully recovered from her recent health concerns, with a doctor telling her that surgery she underwent a year ago could add 15 to 20 years to her life. She certainly sounds happy: the 69-year-old Franklin, who has been married twice before, joked to the AP, “No, I’m not pregnant.”


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