Wedding bells are ringing for Aretha Franklin

R&B legend Aretha Franklin is celebrating the new year with a new fiancé! The Queen of Soul is engaged to her longtime boyfriend, her rep confirmed.

Aretha Franklin

If you wanna do right woman, you’d better marry her. Aretha Franklin is tying the knot for the fourth time — and since this one is her “forever friend,” Willie Wilkerson she says, she’s hoping it sticks.

A rep for the singer confirmed the news to People.

“We’re looking at June or July for our date and no, I’m not pregnant, LOL!” joked Franklin.

The singer recently dropped 85 pounds after a health scare forced her to cancel a concert tour and brought on rumors she had pancreatic cancer.

“The pain was so hard, it nearly brought me to my knees,” Franklin told Wendy Williams last spring. “So I said, ‘The concerts are over. I have to go and find out what is wrong.'”

But the singer stopped short of admitting she had gastric bypass surgery or cancer. When Williams pressed the issue, Franklin only said, “Hmm… Is that what you heard?”

Read on for more celebrity engagements on SheKnows! >>

Regardless of its cause, Franklin will envelop her newly-slimmed figure in a designer wedding gown fit for a queen when she walks down the aisle.

“Ms. Franklin is considering Donna Karan, Valentino and the queen of wedding dresses, Vera Wang, to design her gown,” her rep said.

“I feel fabulous!” Franklin said.

The couple is contemplating a Miami wedding including a private reception on a yacht.

Watch Aretha Franklin sing “Baby I Love You”:

Image courtesy Ray Garbo /


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