Over the holidays, soul legend [lastfm link_type="artist_info"]Aretha Franklin[/lastfm] announced her engagement to longtime friend William Wilkerson, and at the age of 69, the Queen of Soul is ready to tie the knot for the third time to the man “more special than all the rest.”
Already dreaming up her picture-perfect wedding, Franklin opened up in a recent interview with the Associate Press about her relationship with Wilkerson and all the elements she’s planning for her big day!
[pullquote quote="I receive a lot of male attention, but Will is more special than all the rest." credit="Aretha Franklin "]
In the interview, Franklin tells the AP about how the engagement happened, which wasn’t completely out of the blue for her.
“We were … just kind of talking along those lines, and then it got very serious,” she said. “I just said, ‘Is that a proposal?’ and he said ‘yes.’ And that’s how that happened; we just kind of talked into it.”
Because she and Wilkerson have been longtime friends through the years, she says it “bodes well” for their upcoming marriage.
“We’re very compatible, and he supports me and I support him a lot, and he has given me specialized attention that I don’t think I’ve received from anyone else,” she said. “I receive a lot of male attention, but Will is more special than all the rest.”
Now she’s fully immersed in the planning stages for her summertime wedding, including deciding on a venue, booking her famous friends as the entertainment and of course designing her dress.
Franklin says she looking to renowned designers Vera Wang and Donna Karen to create her gown saying, “I’d love to see what they would do custom for me without me saying anything. They’re known for kick butt (dresses).”
She’s also considering a June or July wedding, estimating around 250 guests, in “the exclusive Hamptons” where her friends own a house with its own private beach.
“I’m kind of leaning that way because it’s closer to home, and more friends could get there easily,” she said.
And as for the musical entertainment befitting a Queen, Franklin is hoping some of her famous friends will do the honor of performing on her big day.
“I would love to have Smokey (Robinson) sing, my dearest, oldest friend,” she said, also adding gospel singer Karen Clark and Stevie Wonder to her wish list.
Having already been married twice before, Franklin doesn’t see why she shouldn’t get married again at the age of 69.
“I like being married. It’s an institution that I like. So momentarily I don’t see any reason why I shouldn’t be married,” she said. “I need taking care of a little more, I think. Let someone else be strong.”