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Exclusive: Jennifer Hudson and Gladys Knight Wish Aretha Franklin a Happy 70th Birthday

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Jhud Gladys
The Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin, is celebrating her 70th birthday on Sunday, March 25, and her famous friends are hoping she will celebrate in style.

Jennifer Hudson sent Franklin, a 2012 ESSENCE Music Festival headliner, a special message via ESSENCE.com. "Happy birthday Aretha!' she wrote. "You are a blessing to us all."

Fellow R&B icon Gladys Knight also shared her thoughts on her friend. "Aretha has that very special quality in her voice that is very unique to her, one of a kind," she tells ESSENCE.com. "When you hear her sing, you know that it is Aretha! She is truly the Queen of Soul!"

Franklin will reportedly spend her big day in New York City celebrating with a private bash surrounded by friends.

We hope her 70th birthday is as beautiful as she is.
Happy birthday, Aretha!
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What You Said: Happy 70th Birthday, Aretha Franklin