Aretha Franklin is engaged to longtime friend William “Willie” Wilkerson. The Grammy-winning singer said in a statement Monday that she and Wilkerson are considering a summer wedding, perhaps in Miami Beach, Fla. The Queen of Soul wants to follow the ceremony with a reception on a private yacht. The 69-year-old jokes: “No, I’m not pregnant.” Franklin and Wilkerson became engaged over the holidays. Franklin has been married twice before. … Steven Tyler is ready to walk this way, again: The 63-year-old singer is engaged. Tyler’s representative said Monday that the Aerosmith frontman is engaged to Erin Brady. No other details were provided. Tyler has been married and divorced twice. He is one of the judges on the Fox TV show “American Idol.” … Rupert Murdoch has begun the new year by setting up in a new field of communications — he’s started tweeting. The media mogul is posting on Twitter under the handle rupertmurdoch, spokeswoman Daisy Dunlop said Monday. Murdoch, 80, has generally tried to stay out of the spotlight as his media empire comes under increased scrutiny because of widespread phone hacking at his U.K. newspapers. Murdoch faced harsh questioning in Parliament last summer and may face additional questions from the wide-ranging Leveson Inquiry into media practices later this year, but he makes no mention of these troubles in his tweets. Murdoch had attracted more than 46,000 followers by Monday morning. His wife Wendi Deng is also tweeting — she’s wendi-deng. She refers to the setbacks of the last year in her tweets: “A lot of bad things happened in 2011 but I hope in 2012 we can put them all behind us and sail on to a bright future for everyone Wxx.”
Names in the news, Jan. 2
Posted Jan. 02, 2012, at 8:48 p.m.