ARETHA FRANKLIN'S SECRET BIRTHDAY BASH!

Published on: March 17, 2011
ARETHA FRANKLIN'S SECRET BIRTHDAY BASH!

Ailing ARETHA FRANKLIN is planning to throw herself a lavish 69th birthday bash because it may be her last!

The Queen of Soul is secretly making arrangements for a spectacular, star-studded celebration at the Helmsley Park Lane Hotel in NYC on March 25, The ENQUIRER has learned.

The legendary entertainer, who has a fear of flying, will travel in her luxurious custom built bus from her hometown of Detroit to NYC.

The guests list includes Oprah Winfrey, Wendy Williams, Dionne Warwick, Gladys Knight, Natalie Cole, Patti Labelle and Smokey Robinson. Motown founder Berry Gordy and Rev. Jesse Jackson are also invited.

"Aretha's not saying it, but she knows this could very well be her last birthday celebration so she's going all out," an insider close to the singer revealed. "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."

As The ENQUIRER exclusively reported, the Grammy-winning star had half her stomach removed after undergoing surgery for pancreatic cancer on Dec. 2.

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