Aretha Franklin joins list of stars getting engaged

Mon Jan 2, 2012 6:13pm EST
 
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LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - "Queen of Soul" singer Aretha Franklin has become the latest celebrity to announce an engagement over the holidays, joining a list including "Aerosmith" frontman Steven Tyler and basketball superstar LeBron James.

Franklin, 69, and her friend William 'Willie' Wilkerson hope to marry later this year on a sandy Miami beach with a private party to celebrate afterward aboard a yacht, a spokeswoman for Franklin confirmed on Monday.

"We're looking at June or July for our date, and no I'm not pregnant, LOL!," Franklin said in a statement.

Franklin, 69, was sidelined by a mysterious ailment at about this time last year, but overcame her health scare in January and shed 85 pounds on the road to better health. The legendary singer of 1960s hits like "Chain of Fools" and "Baby I Love You" sang at her own 69th birthday party in March.

Tyler, 63, rocked longtime girlfriend Erin Brady, 38, with a proposal, too, his representative confirmed to celebrity media, but no details were given.

In recent days ahead of New Year's Eve, the two have been photographed in Hawaii with Brady showing off a new diamond engagement ring wrapped around her finger. Tyler and Brady have been together since 2006. It will be his third marriage.

James and his longtime girlfriend Savannah Brinson also became engaged over the New Year holiday weekend.

(Reporting by Bob Tourtellotte; Editing by Greg McCune)