Skip to Content

Aretha Franklin, who announced January 3 that she was engaged to Willie Wilkerson and would wed this summer, released a statement Monday with a change of plans.

“Regretfully, To Our Friends and Supporters: Will and I have decided we were moving a little too fast,” said the Queen of Soul and her her “forever friend” William.

“There were a number of things that had not been thought through thoroughly,” the 69-year-old Franklin added. “There will be no wedding at this time.”

Aretha Franklin Sings

“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 statement was signed “Aretha and Will.”

Franklin is famously private about her personal life, which is why her engagement to William Wilkerson came as such a surprise to the public recently.

She’s previously declined to discuss whether she was even in a relationship. Presumably, and hopefully, the longtime friends will remain that way.

“Will and I are close,” Franklin said recently of her companion. “We stayed close and he escorts me on occasion and we’re just cool. We’re real cool.”

Real good to know.