Aretha Franklin calls off wedding plans

Mon Jan 23, 2012 2:26pm EST
 
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(Reuters) - "Queen of Soul" Aretha Franklin on Monday called off plans to marry in the summer, saying she and her fiancé William 'Willie' Wilkerson had decided they had gone too far, too soon.

"Will and I have decided we were moving a little too fast, and there were a number of things that had not been thought through thoroughly. There will be no wedding at this time," the couple said in a joint statement.

"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. Aretha & Will."

Franklin, 69, announced her engagement three weeks ago, saying she and her longtime friend planned to marry in June or July on Miami beach, followed by a party on a yacht.

The announcement came about a year after the "Respect" singer was sidelined by a mystery illness requiring surgery. She returned to performing and released a new album in May after dropping about 85 pounds in weight.

(Reporting By Jill Serjeant; Editing by Bob Tourtellotte)

 
<p>Singer Aretha Franklin arrives at the Candie's Foundation 10th anniversary Event to Prevent benefit New York May 3, 2011. REUTERS/Eric Thayer</p>