DETROIT -

Miss Aretha Franklin, or "Ree Ree," as her friends call her, watches Local 4 News Today every morning when she's at home. She told anchor Evrod Cassimy herself when he interviewed her by phone just a few months ago. So, when she invited him to celebrate her private 72nd birthday party at the Ritz Carlton in New York City this past weekend, he was more than happy to attend.

Within minutes of entering the lavish birthday celebration, there she was, the Queen of Soul, mingling with guests at her star studded private event.

Music was provided by, Dizzy Gillespie All-Star, a perfect soundtrack to the momentous occasion. Franklin and Evrod chatted on the couch as the band played in front of them. She was happy to see Detroit represented in New York for her birthday party.

Within minutes, Franklin's longtime friend Clive Davis of Arista Records arrived.

Also in attendance, Detroit's own Judge Greg Mathis.

The party really started buzzing though when in walked Oscar Award winning actor Denzel Washington.

Cameras kept flashing at the sight of the four stars chatting together.

The black tie event brought out all of Franklin's friends dressed in their finest evening wear. But what would an Aretha Franklin party be without hearing from the queen herself? Before the night was over, the band played “Happy Birthday” as Ree Ree blushed.

Each guest that attended went home with a white box wrapped in a purple ribbon. Inside was a personal chocolate cake decorated with the words Ree Ree and the date of the party to mark the occasion.

It was quite an honor to celebrate the birth of a living legend and we're even more honored that Franklin loves to watch us here at Local 4.

So, on behalf of us here at WDIV, we wish a Happy 72nd Birthday to the Queen of Soul, Miss Aretha Franklin.

Slideshow: Aretha Franklin's 72nd birthday in New York

Published On: Mar 24 2014 09:20:02 AM EDT

Local 4's Evrod Cassimy spent the weekend in New York celebrating with Aretha Franklin for her 72nd birthday.

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