NEW YORK – Aretha Franklin proved her voice is still divine at 69 as she gave a brief but rousing performance at a swank birthday party in her honor.

Tony Bennett, Smokey Robinson, music mogul Clive Davis, Bette Midler and Gayle King were among the celebrities on hand to pay tribute to the Queen of Soul on Friday night at a late-night birthday party at a Central Park hotel.

“It’s a fabulous moment,” said Franklin, showing off her noticeably thinner frame in a flowing white and gold gown.

Bennett, who called Franklin “one of a kind,” came with a present — and his was unique.

“I also paint, so she knows about that,” he said. “A long time ago, she said, ‘I’d love to have you do a painting of me,’ and I remembered that, and when I heard I was coming here, I just knocked off a quick sketch tonight and gave it to her tonight.”

More than 100 friends and family gathered to celebrate Franklin, who just a few months ago underwent surgery for an ailment she has declined to disclose. In recent weeks, she’s made more public appearances and is set to resume her stage performances in May.

At the party, Franklin seemed full of energy, greeting guests and dancing to the music.

Franklin wasn’t billed as the evening’s entertainment. Instead, other acclaimed musicians were on hand to perform for her: jazz musician Roy Ayers, singer Nnenna Freelon and Tito Puente Jr. all gave mini-concerts at the soiree.

But after former Temptations frontman Dennis Edwards serenaded her, she joined him and they both sang “The Way We Were.”

Afterward, Edwards and the crowd sang “Happy Birthday” to Franklin, and she cut her birthday cake.

Search extended for objective jurors in trial of Michael Jackson’s doctor

LOS ANGELES – A judge concerned about finding enough jurors for the trial of Michael Jackson’s doctor extended the search Friday, even after clearing 147 people who said they could spare the time for the anticipated two-month case.

Superior Court Judge Michael Pastor took the action after more than half of the 340 prospective jurors summoned Thursday for the trial of Houston cardiologist Dr. Conrad Murray were excused for hardships related to the length of the trial.

Pastor also suggested to lawyers in his chambers that a glance at jury questionnaires indicated many candidates might have to be eliminated because of strong views on the issues involved in the case.

Only three of the people in the first jury pool indicated they didn’t know anything about the case.

The trial of Murray, who has pleaded not guilty to involuntary manslaughter, is expected to draw worldwide attention.

Singer sues over Tonys mishap

LOS ANGELES – Bret Michaels sued CBS Broadcasting and the organizers of the Tony Awards on Friday over a 2009 mishap that resulted in his being hit in the head by a set piece, claiming the accident contributed to a brain hemorrhage that nearly killed him.

The Poison frontman’s lawsuit claims he continues to deal with effects from the injury and brain bleeding that left him hospitalized last year.

Michaels and Poison performed at the Tony Awards in June 2009, and the singer suffered a busted lip and broken nose when he was hit by a piece of scenery.

He claims show organizers never explained that the set would be changing after the band performed “Nothin’ But a Good Time.”

Michaels was hospitalized in April 2010. Doctors found he had a brain hemorrhage, and he later suffered a warning stroke, which the musician says nearly killed him.

CBS declined comment.

Phone and email messages left for spokespeople for the Tony Awards were not immediately returned Friday evening.