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Aretha Franklin, 69, calls off Wedding to Long Time Companion

24 Jan 2012

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Aretha Franklin has called off her wedding to her long-time partner William Wilkerson

Mail Online

Aretha Franklin has called off her wedding.

The Respect singer has announced her planned summer nuptials to William 'Willie' Wilkerson are no longer going ahead because things had started to move a 'little too fast' in their relationship.

A statement signed 'Aretha and Will' read: 'Regretfully, To Our Friends and Supporters: Will and I have decided we were moving a little too fast, and there were a number of things that had not been thought through thoroughly. There will be no wedding at this time.

'We will not comment on it any further because of the very personal and sensitive nature of it. We appreciate all of the many well wishes from friends.'

The 69-year-old soul legend - who is notoriously secretive about her private life - announced her engagement to her long-time friend and companion William in January and they had been planning to tie the knot on a yacht in Miami Beach, Florida, in June or July.

She lost 85lbs last year and the Grammy-winning singer had planned to follow the ceremony with a reception on a private yacht.

She joked: 'No, I'm not pregnant,' earlier this month.

Franklin and Wilkerson became engaged over the Christmas and New Year holidays.

She was considering Vera Wang, Valentino and Donna Karan to design her dress.

It would have been the third wedding for Franklin, who has four children.

She was married to her then manager, Ted White, during the '60s and split from her second husband actor Glynn Turman in 1984 after five years together.

Franklin recently said she is feeling 'fabulous' again after suffering from a serious health issue in 2010.

The Chain of Fools singer was reported to have been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer - claims Ms Franklin denied.

However, she did undergo an unidentified surgery in December that year and she had cancelled concerts and personal appearances up until May.

Her more transformed physique has now promoted rumours she underwent gastric bypass surgery.

But Ms Franklin said in a recent interview that she 'would never' go under the surgeon's knife for weight loss surgery.

Asked if she had had a gastric bypass, Ms Franklin replied: 'Definitely not - and would not. I heard that rumour. 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.'

Edited By GABRIELLA OSAMOR

Tags: Entertainment, Featured, Aretha Franklin, Wedding, Long Time Companion

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