Aretha Franklin is engaged to longtime friend William “Willie” Wilkerson. The Grammy-winning singer told The Associated Press in a statement Monday that she and Wilkerson are considering a summer wedding, perhaps in Miami Beach, Fla. The Queen of Soul wants to follow the ceremony with a reception on a private yacht. The 69-year-old jokes: “No, I’m not pregnant.” Franklin and Wilkerson became engaged over the holidays. She is considering Vera Wang, Valentino and Donna Karan to design her dress. Franklin has been married twice before.
Aretha Franklin spent December living through a severe health crisis, surgeries and rumors of incurable diseases, and while she’s staying vague about it, there’s one thing she wants to clear up: she didn’t have cancer. “Well, there was just so many wild things out there and just so many things being said that weren’t true,” Franklin told Access Hollywood on Thursday. “I just felt I needed to address it a little.” Franklin told Jet Magazine last week that it was a pain in her side that had started the whole affair. “Yeah, the pain was so hard it almost brought me to my knees,” Franklin said. “I was in Birmingham and then Boston and after that concert the same pain hit me again… I really just began to not feel good and I said, ‘Oh, no this is it, I can’t do any more concerts till I know what the problem is.’” And while it took her a few procedures to know what was wrong, she’s still not telling. Rest assured, though, all is good with Aretha now. Franklin underwent emergency surgery on December 2nd, for a mysterious illness that was laterreported to be pancreatic cancer — as relayed by “a family insider.” That part, at least, she’s denying, saying that no one in her family had ever told her they said that — and, regardless, it isn’t true. She said last week that her health problems were resolved — but refused to reveal what they were.
UPDATE: WJBK FOX 2 News in Detroit confirms that Franklin has cancer. A family insider told the station that she’s doing, “OK,” but they ask for the public’s prayers. PREVIOUSLY: A week after undergoing surgery for a mystery illness, the National Enquirer reports (viaPopCrunch) that famed singer Aretha Franklin has incurable pancreatic cancer. The surgery, labeled a success, came under mysterious circumstances. This is the first time this illness has been reported. In November, shecanceled all concerts through May 2011 due to “medical reasons.” The Enquirer’s report lists pancreatic survival rates at 5-10%, and even lower for someone of Franklin’s age and weight.
OMFG! This really shock me. Just by the fact that is Pancreatic Cancer says a lot. Not just because of what she represents (The Queen of Soul) but because of the value of person she is (advocate, specially) it’s really a tragedy that this is happening to Mrs. Franklin. My thoughts are with her.
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