Aretha Franklin getting ready for birthday bash

Aretha Franklin is planning a huge star-studded bash to celebrate her 69th birthday tomorrow.

The soul singer - who underwent surgery in December for an undisclosed complaint, rumoured to be pancreatic cancer - will first take nine friends to see James Earl Jones perform in 'Driving Miss Daisy' on Broadway in New York followed by a carefully planned party at the Helmsley Park Lane Hotel.



The 'Respect' singer even made the phone call to the theatre herself to purchase the ten tickets.



Pals say Aretha's recent health scare have made her more determined to enjoy life and she is taking complete control of planning the birthday bash, which 100 of her closest friends are expected to attend.



A source told National Enquirer magazine: "Aretha's not saying it, but she knows this could very well be her last birthday celebration, so she's going all out. She may be recovering from her illness, but she's still a diva so she's planning every detail down to the napkins - she's making sure this party will be one to remember."



"Aretha isn't calling this her swan song, but she wants to be remembered, and what better way to go out than with a huge bash!"



The 100 guests are expected to include Oprah Winfrey, Dionne Warwick, Gladys Knight, Natalie Cole Patti Labelle and Smokey Robinson, Wendy Williams, Berry Gordy and the Reverend Jesse Jackson.

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