Aretha Franklin to celebrate 69th birthday in NYC

Aretha Franklin walks on the court with Jesse Jackson after the Detroit Pistons-Miami Heat NBA basketball game in Auburn Hills, Mich., Friday, Feb. 11, 2011. AP Photo/Paul Sancya

Aretha Franklin walks on the court with Jesse Jackson after the Detroit Pistons-Miami Heat NBA basketball game in Auburn Hills, Mich., Friday, Feb. 11, 2011.
AP

(CBS/AP) After months of battling health issues, Aretha Franklin is celebrating her 69th birthday in a way big in New York.

The Queen of Soul has scheduled a birthday bash on Friday at a luxury hotel, complete with performances and several guests. Her publicist, Tracy Jordan, added that Franklin is planning to see the Broadway production of "Driving Miss Daisy" earlier in the evening.

Pictures: Aretha Franklin

The 18-time Grammy winner underwent surgery late last year in her hometown of Detroit for an undisclosed ailment. Since the surgery, Franklin said she has lost more than 80 pounds. She credited the weight loss to a change in her diet and exercise.

"I was doing everything you could to lose that weight, and it's hard," she told Wendy Williams in an interview earlier this month. "It's just really hard. [But] you can't continue eating things that will hurt you eventually."

The music legend is expected to return to the stage in May and also has a new album on the way.

  • CBS News Staff

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