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Sixty-nine year-old soul singer Aretha Franklin is engaged to her longtime friend William “Willie” Wilkerson.
She joked via a statement that the nuptials were not spurred by a pregnancy scare, “No, I’m not pregnant.”
Franklin and Wilkerson became engaged over the holidays. It will be the third time down the aisle for the “Queen of Soul,” who was previously wed to Ted White and actor Glynn Turman (A Different World, The Wire).
The singer told the Associated Press that Vera Wang, Valentino and Donna Karan are all being considered as the designer of her wedding dress. She also said she is leaning towards a summer wedding, perhaps in Miami, followed by a reception on board a private yacht.
Franklin made a surprise pre-taped appearance at the 2011 Grammy Awards at the end of a tribute to her featuring Christina Aguilera, Jennifer Hudson, Florence Welch, Martina McBride and Yolanda Adams.
The “Respect,” “Natural Woman” and “Soul Serenade” singer has won 18 Grammys and received a Kennedy Center Honor in 2009.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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