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Clive Davis, Cissy Houston Among Guests At Warwick’s Surprise Party

Dionne Warwick may have been the guest of honor at her surprise birthday dinner over the weekend, but it was Freddie Jackson who almost stole the show.

Despite declaring that he’d had three cosmopolitans, Jackson put on an impromptu serenade for the birthday girl, belting out his hit “You Are My Lady” during the private meal at Mr. Chow in Manhattan.

Once the 20-odd guests yelled “Surprise!” music mogul Clive Davis was the first to embrace the veteran soul singer, in front of longtime friends like Cissy Houston, Rep. Charlie Rangel, singer Melba Moore, Nona Hendryx, Broadway PR powerhouse Irene Gandy and Suzette Charles, who replaced Vanessa Williams as Miss America in 1984. Rep. Rangel (D-Harlem) later gave Warwick a proclamation that declared Dec. 11 as “Dionne Warwick Day.”

Although she’d just gotten off a flight from Hong Kong, Warwick appeared sprightly and much younger than her 75 years, beaming as she chatted with her guests. And she said she was just getting the party started.
“For those of you that know, tomorrow is actually my birthday,” Warwick said. “For those of you who know me, also know I celebrate my birthday the entire month.”

Warwick’s birthday celebration also served as the relaunch of her health education nonprofit, The Dionne Warwick Foundation.

Warwick’s two sons, David and Damon, hosted the surprise party, and each made a heartfelt speech about how much Warwick meant to them, causing their mom to wipe away a few tears as she listened.
“I certainly appreciate my two babies,” she said. “I want to thank all of you for taking the time out to embrace me.”

Lisa Pacino

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