Today I pay tribute to the one of the few remaining true divas, Patti Labelle, whose birthday is tomorrow, as well as her music which is going to be in heavy rotation at Memorial Day family cookouts nationwide. LaBelle was born May 24, 1944 in Philadelphia, PA. She began her career with The Bluebelles in 1963, after having a few minor hits and some contractual conflicts the group became LaBelle in 1970, yet didn’t make any major impact until 1974 with their mega successful 4th album Nightbirds which contained the smash single “Lady Marmalade”. However, the trio only remained for one more album and seperated in 1975.
Patti Labelle’s solo career took off almost immediately after leaving LaBelle. Her self-titled debut album was a critical success something she wouldn’t see again until her sixth album I’m in Love Again in 1983. During this time Patti was finding success on stage starring in a revival of Your Arms Are Too Short to Box With God with Al Green on Broadway. Soon, LaBelle found crossover success when her contributions to the 1985 film Beverly Hills Cop’s energetic soundtrack which took the pop charts setting Patti LaBelle and other featured Soul artists for a smooth crossover into pop music. Patti rode the pop wave into her next two albums Winner in (’86)You and Be Yourself(’89). This brief write up can’t even begin to explain the sanger that is Patti Labelle, I haven’t even gone into her philanthropic endeavors, but I digress and I’ll let her prove it to you with some of my favorites.
Bonus Video: Aside from being a vocal powerhouse, Patti is also known in the entertainment industry as a dynamite cook with many fans including Elton John. Her Macaroni and Cheese and Fried Chicken recipes are of LEGEND. So here’s her famed Macaroni recipe helped by Oprah.