Aretha Franklin Calls Off Her Wedding

01/23/2012 at 01:15 PM EST

Aretha Franklin Calls Off Her Wedding
Willie Wilkerson and Aretha Franklin in 2010
Shahar Azran/WireImage
The Queen of Soul will retain her solo throne for now.

Aretha Franklin – who announced Jan. 3 that she and her "forever friend" William 'Willie' Wilkerson would wed this summer – released a statement Monday with a change of 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, 69. "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."



The statement was signed "Aretha and Will."

Franklin is famously private about her personal life. In an interview with PEOPLE last year, she politely declined to discuss whether she was even in a relationship.

Presumably, the longtime friends will remain that way. "Will and I are very close," Franklin told Jet in 2007. "We stayed close and he escorts me on occasion and we're just cool. We're real cool."

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