Aretha Franklin Puts Brakes on Engagement to Willie Wilkerson

Aretha Franklin has called off her engagement to longtime boyfriend William “Willie” Wilkerson, saying the pair were “moving too fast.”

Eh — haven’t these two been together for 26 years?!

Earlier this month, the Queen of Soul, 69, announced that she had gotten engaged to Wilkerson over the holidays. At the time, the multi-lauded Franklin — who battled a secret illness last year — said the pair was considering a summer wedding, maybe in Miami Beach on the Hamptons.

A jovial and twice-divorced Franklin joked that the proposal wasn’t entirely unexpected, but cracked that she “wasn’t pregnant.”

Today, Aretha confirmed that she won’t be sashaying down the aisle after all.

“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. 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.”

It’s not clear if they are still a couple.

Snoopsters with the National Enquirer believe Aretha’s four grown sons may be behind the contention. The Franklin brothers were reportedly frightened Willie was planning to cash in on the legendary perform­er’s $60 million estate.

A fear that fell on deaf ears for Mama Bear. A close source tittle tattled:

“Her four sons have all been involved in her career in one way or an­other and continue to be very close to their moth­er — and protective. Aretha understands how they feel, but she is not going to let anyone get in the way of her happiness. Whether she makes Willie sign a prenup or not remains to be seen.”