- (Photo: Reuters/John Gress)
Aretha Franklin, the “Queen of Soul” is preparing to take a king, her representative said. Franklin and longtime friend William “Willie” Wilkerson are expected to marry this summer after getting engaged over the holidays.
The soul-singer told People magazine, “We’re looking at June or July for our date, and no, I’m not pregnant, LOL!”
Franklin has been married twice before to Ted White and Glynn Turman and has four children. She gained notoriety for her singing in 1961 and had a hit with her rendition of “Respect.” Dubbed the “queen of soul” during a show in 1965, Franklin has risen to that standard.
Her awards include 18 Grammy wins, including the record for most Best Female R&B Performance awards, an honorary doctorate from Yale University, and even the Presidential Medal of Freedom, which President George W. Bush presented her with in 2005. On Oct. 16, 2011, Franklin sang at Martin Luther King Jr.’s memorial dedication.
In Dec. 2011, Franklin made headlines by having surgery for an undisclosed medical condition. Fans speculated that she was suffering from pancreatic cancer, though Franklin refused to answer any questions. She told Jet magazine, “I don’t have to talk about my health with anybody other than my doctors. The problem has been resolved.”
Franklin then asked for a little respect, “I want to thank my fans and friends and supporters who have prayed for me and sent me beautiful cards and flowers. Please continue to respect my privacy as I continue to recover.”
Franklin’s rep teased the press by saying she “is considering Donna Karan, Valentino, and the queen of wedding dresses, Vera Wang, to design her gown.”