Aretha Franklin.
Aretha Franklin.

Aretha Franklin gets engaged

ARETHA Franklin is engaged.

The 69-year-old singer and her long-time companion William 'Willie' Wilkerson are to marry in the summer and are considering tying the knot on a yacht in Miami Beach, Florida.

She said in a statement: "We're looking at June or July for our date, and no, I'm not pregnant, LOL! (sic)"

Aretha has been married twice before - once to her former manager Ted White, during the 1960s, while her marriage to actor Glynn Turman ended in 1984 after five years together.

Just days after her 14th birthday in March 1956, Aretha gave birth to her first child Clarence and 10 months later she welcomed her second son, Edward, into the world. She has never named the father of either child.

Her grandmother Rachel raised the boys while Aretha pursued her singing career.

In 1964, Aretha gave birth to her son Teddy - her only child with first husband Ted - while her fourth boy, Kecalf, was born in 1970 as the result of her seven-year relationship with her then road manager Ken Cunningham.

In December 2010, Aretha underwent surgery for an undisclosed complaint after experiencing crippling pain in her side.

She returned to performing last May.

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