PHOTOS: Music Greats Come Out To Celebrate Aretha Franklin's Birthday


Mar. 26 2011, Published 9:15 a.m. ET

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Only the Queen of Soul would sing at her own birthday party! But that is exactly what Aretha Franklin did Friday night as she celebrated turning 69 at a party in her honor, and has the pictures.

At a bash held in New York City, Aretha took to the stage to perform in front of around 100 guests including Bette Midler, Tony Bennett, music mogul and producer Clive Davis and Motown icon Smokey Robinson.

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Dressed in a flowing white and gold gown, Aretha blew out the candles on a huge cake as her well-wishers sang happy birthday.

She then got to enjoy performances by jazz musician Roy Ayers and singer Nnenna Freelon.

The singing legend, who last month was honored for her  lifetime  of achievement at the Grammy Awards, has been showing off a noticeably thinner frame since being hospitalized for a mystery ailment last December.

She's said she's lost more than 80 pounds and feeling better than she has in years.



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