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Marriages of Aretha Franklin


Aretha Franklin

Aretha Franklin in New York City on June 14, 2010.

Photo: Jemal Countess / Getty Images
Aretha Franklin's two marriages both ended in divorce. Here is information about who she married and when.

News Updates:

01/02/2012: A summer wedding appears to be in Aretha Franklin's plans. She announced she will marry William "Willie" Wilkerson who is a longtime friend.

01/06/2011: Aretha Franklin said her medical issue has been "resolved".

12/8/2010: Aretha Franklin reportedly is battling cancer.


Aretha Louise Franklin: March 25, 1942 in Memphis, Tennessee.

First Marriage -- Ted White:

Wedding Date: 1961 in Ohio.

Divorced: End of 1969

Ted about their divorce: "We just decided to go our separate ways."
Source: Mark Bego. Aretha Franklin: The Queen of Soul. 2001. pg. 127.

Second Marriage -- Glynn Russell Turman:

Born: January 31, 1947 in New York City, New York.

When Aretha and Glynn Met: January 1977 at a benefit for underprivileged children in Los Angeles.

Wedding Date: April 11, 1978 in the New Bethel Baptist Church in Detroit, Michigan. They had their wedding reception in Los Angeles on April 17, 1978.

Mark Bego: "Aretha's gown was made of eggshell-colored silk, with a seven-foot train. It was trim in mink, covered with lace appliques, and embroidered with 1,500 seed pearls. Glynn had a dozen groomsmen, and Aretha had a dozen bridesmaids. The Four Tops sang the Stevie Wonder song 'Isn't She Lovely' as Aretha walked down the aisle. Naturally, the ceremony was performed by Reverend C.L. Franklin ... Their wedding cake was a four-tiered work of art that stood several feet tall."
Source: Mark Bego. Aretha Franklin: The Queen of Soul. 2001. pg. 173.

Divorced: February 7, 1984

Other Marriages:

  • Ula M. Walker: Married in 1965 and divorced in July 1971. Glynn and Ula had three children.
  • Jo-Ann Allen: Married on February 14, 1992. Glynn and Jo-Ann have one child.


Aretha has four sons.
  • Clarence Franklin, Jr:
  • Edward Franklin
  • Ted White, Jr: Born in 1964. His father is Ted White.
  • Kecalf Cunningham: Born in 1970. His father is Ken Cunningham.


Aretha: Award winning singer, actress, pianist, songwriter.

Ted: Realtor, manager.

Glynn: Actor, director, composer, acting teacher, rodeo performer, co-founder of Camp Gid D Up for under-privileged children.

Quotes About Aretha Franklin's Marriages:

Aretha: "I love marriage. I love the institution."
Source: Rennie Dyball. "Aretha Franklin's Fiance Willie Wilkerson: 5 Things to Know." People.com. 1/03/2012.

Aretha about Glynn: "There was something about him that was very gentle, but also very strong, and I was attracted to that. We began seeing each other, and I discovered a certain warmth about him -- a real comforting kind of warmth that a woman feels for the right man. He was polite to me, a real gentleman all the time, and intelligent, articulate -- all the things I really like in a man."
Source: Mark Bego. Aretha Franklin: The Queen of Soul. 2001. pg. 172.

Billy Davis about Ted White: "I recorded her [Aretha] several times. One of the times, she was married to Ted White -- unfortunately. It was a shame, and it took its toll on her too. And fortunately, thanks to God, she recovered from it all, but it hindered her in her career for quite a few years."
Source: Mark Bego. Aretha Franklin: The Queen of Soul. 2001. pg. 80.

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