Aretha Franklin's Broadway birthday
Published 25/03/2011 | 08:33
Aretha Franklin is planning to celebrate her 69th birthday by watching Driving Miss Daisy on Broadway.
The Queen of Soul reportedly rang the Golden Theatre personally to buy tickets for herself and nine friends, according to the New York Daily News, as she's a big fan of James Earl Jones who stars in the production alongside Vanessa Redgrave.
Aretha celebrated her 66th birthday watching Jones in Tennessee Willliams' Cat on a Hot Tin Roof and she also saw him perform in On Golden Pond in 2005.
The singer will be attending a birthday party after the show, with Central Park South hotel rumoured to be her chosen venue, although details are being kept strictly under wraps.
An insider revealed 100 of Aretha's nearest and dearest friends are on the guest list and a live band have been booked as entertainment.
Harlem soul-food restaurant Sylvia's on Lenox Avenue are reported to be providing the birthday cake.
Aretha has been on a diet and exercise regime since she underwent surgery for an undisclosed condition in December.
She's given up her favourite chitterlings, pigs' feet and ham hocks in favour of a whole foods-type diet, and she hopes to get down to a size 16.
She said recently: "I want to not only maintain the weight I am at now, but better it, by one dress size."