Third time’s a charm as iconic singer Aretha Franklin says she is ready to get married for the third time. The 69-year-old soul legend recently got engaged to her longtime friend William “Willie” Wilkerson.
In a statement issued Monday, Queen of Soul Aretha Franklin made the announcement and revealed that the pair was planning to walk down the aisle in either June or July possibly in Miami Beach, Florida but not because there is a baby on the way as Franklin joked, “No, I’m not pregnant.”
The Grammy-winning singer said that she and Wilkerson would love to follow the wedding ceremony with a reception on a private yacht. As for what the three-time bride will choose as her wedding dress, her representative revealed: "Ms. Franklin is considering Donna Karan, Valentino and the queen of wedding dresses, Vera Wang, to design her gown.”
This is her third engagement. Previously, Aretha Franklin tied the knot in 1961 with Ted White, who later became her manager. They were divorced in 1969. She then married actor Glynn Turman in 1978 and divorced followed six years later.
The happy news will surely be like a breath of fresh air for Aretha Franklin, mother of four, who experienced various health issues in recent years. The legendary singer underwent surgery in December 2010 for a condition that both she and her representative refused to disclose.
After staying for months out of the media spotlight, Aretha Franklin attended the Grammy Awards in February. After the reported health scare, she lost 85 pounds and told PEOPLE, "I feel fabulous." The news of her surgery and her toned-down physique promoted rumors she underwent gastric bypass surgery, but Franklin strongly denied the claims in a recent interview saying that she “would never” go under the surgeon's knife for weight loss surgery.
The “Baby I Love You” singer said: “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 returned to performing last May.