Aretha Franklin
Aretha Franklin

Grammy-winning U.S. singer Aretha Franklin, 69, announced on Tuesday that she was engaged to her long-time friend and companion William "Willie" Wilkerson.

"We're looking at June or July for our date," the People magazine has quoted the singer as saying.

The singer is planning a summer wedding, perhaps in Miami Beach, Florida, the statement revealed. Franklin had married twice before and has four children.

"No, I'm not pregnant," the Queen of Soul joked.

"Ms Franklin is considering Donna Karan, Valentino and the queen of wedding dresses, Vera Wang, to design her gown," the Press Association has quoted her representative as saying.

The "Baby I Love You" singer has struggled with weight problems and had denied rumours that she was suffering from pancreatic cancer. She has lost 85 pounds over the past year, but denied undergoing any weight loss surgery.