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Aretha Franklin Plans 69th Birthday Bash Friday in New York City

Jeff Fusco/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- She survived a mystery ailment and surgery, and now Aretha Franklin is ready to party.

Friday in New York City, the slimmed-down singer will celebrate her 69th birthday in style.  Her publicist confirms to ABC News Radio that the Queen of Soul will start her evening by attending a production of the Broadway play Driving Miss Daisy, starring James Earl Jones and Vanessa Redgrave.  Then, she'll have a birthday bash at a swanky hotel, with plenty of special guests and musical performances.

Franklin has already been spotted out and about in New York City.  E! Online reports that Wednesday night, she got an ovation when she was seen courtside at a New York Knicks/Orlando Magic game at Madison Square Garden.  Among those clapping for her were filmmaker Spike Lee, New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg, and former New York Knicks star Patrick Ewing.  Franklin gave everyone a thumbs-up and bobbed her head as the P.A. played her greatest hits.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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