Aretha Franklin celebrates 70th birthday with ex-fiance
Aretha Franklin celebrated her 70th birthday in New York on Saturday with ex-fiancé William Wilkerson and music producer Clive Davis.
The music legend announced at the celebration, which was held the day before her actual birthday on March 25, that she planned to reunite with her musical mentor to produce some new music.
"I have re-signed with Clive Davis, so I'm recording with Clive again," Franklin told the Associated Press. "We're going to sit together and decide what it is we're going to record."
The birthday party, which was held at the Helmsley Park Lane Hotel, included a sit-down dinner, ballet performance and a concert performed by jazz pianist Kris Bowers ( See photos from the event).
Guests included Reverend Al Sharpton, Diane Sawyer and Wilkerson, the singer's longtime companion who she was engaged to briefly earlier this year. When asked if a marriage might still be in the cards for the couple, Franklin said, "We'll see what happens."
Franklin has been married twice before, to Ted White in 1961 and to actor Glynn Turman in 1978. She has four children.
The "Queen of Soul," canceled two concerts in August 2010 after breaking two ribs in a fall. In November, she canceled all gigs and appearances through May 2011 by order of her doctors. The singer underwent surgery on December 2. She later said her "problem has been resolved," but did not specify her ailment.
Franklin told talk show host Wendy Williams in March that she had lost 85 pounds and was "feeling wonderful.".
The singer, who has struggled with her weight for many years, has denied that she had gastric bypass surgery.
Franklin recently made headlines over comments she made regarding Whitney Houston's death and the importance of preparing children before they leave home to deal with outside pressures. The singer later clarified that she wasn't referring to Cissy Houston's parenting.
Franklin performed at a concert on February 18 at Radio City Music Hall in New York, the last stop on her "greatest hits" tour. During her show, Franklin sang part of "I Will Always Love You," and called Houston by her nickname "Nippy."