Who was aretha franklin dating
Mere weeks after the upbeat wedding announcement, the pair cancelled plans.“Regretfully, To Our Friends and Supporters: 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,” said Franklin in a statement.“There will be no wedding at this time.”Nonetheless, Wilkerson remained an important, albeit largely hidden, part of Franklin’s life until the end.
The singer’s biographer David Ritz believes Franklin’s fierce desire to guard her private life had its roots in her tumultuous early years.“She had a tough childhood,” Ritz told magazine of his subject, whose first children were born when she was 12 and 14 (Franklin never publicly confirmed the identities of the fathers).
It wasn’t just her health battles Aretha Franklin sought to keep out of the headlines.
The famously private singer, who died of pancreatic cancer on August 16 aged 76, was also coy about her long-time partner, the man she called her “forever friend,” William “Willie” Wilkerson.
Following allegations of promiscuity on the part of C. Franklin, the couple divorced in 1948 and Aretha’s mom had to move back to Buffalo.
She loved the blues but she didn’t want to be seen as a tragic blues figure.”Instead, in the years before ill health took its toll, Franklin was happy to be photographed at everything from sporting events to the red carpet—usually with Wilkerson on her arm.The queen of soul reportedly met the dashing former firefighter at an autograph-signing session in her hometown, Detroit, in the early 1980s.The gregarious Wilkerson is said to have asked the star to sign the cast on his broken leg, sparking friendship which bloomed into romance. Her father encouraged her music career by taking her around to sing and perform at different churches in what he called “gospel caravan” tours. Records and soon released her first album titled Songs of Faith, in 1956.Right now, Aretha Franklin is one of the best-selling musical artists of all time, with over 75 million of her records sold worldwide. She was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987 (first female performer to receive such honor), the UK Music Hall of Fame in 2005 and the GMA Gospel Music Hall of Fame in 2012.