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Fresh Black Girls: Patti LaBelle!

19 August 2008 10 Comments

As evidenced by this Philadelphia mural, if there is anyone who deserves major sweatage it’s Patti LaBelle. What makes her freshest is the fact that she has made it her business to do everything under the sun, and in the process has become the woman we all want to be when we grow up by default. Always distinctive, Patti Labelle is the very mold for “the diva.” As lead singer of the group Labelle, Patti broke barriers by dressing in wacky space-age attire like other funk groups of the time but with a bold female twist – before you say anything, yes that photo is Patti with her old nose, but I ain’t mad. Labelle’s “Lady Marmalade,” is easily one of the most imitated songs ever, from that vastly inferior Moulin Rouge version to folks mangling and inappropriately blurting out voulez-vous couchez avec moi for the past twenty years? Patti’s illustrious solo career included the hits “New Attitude,” “If You Asked Me To,” and my personal favorite “On My Own,” with blue-eyed soulster Michael MacDonald. In the 90’s, Patti had her own sitcom, Out All Night, the epitome of Colored But Cancelled television. To this day, give Patti some gospel to sing and you’ll get a Holy-Ghost-catchin’ performance that could convert any sinner. Patti even has her own line of sassy lil’ wigs (quite a feat considering her Hair Freak status for most of the ’80s), and a diabetes-friendly food line called “Good Life.” Another fresh thing about Patti is that she never seems worried about her shine. How could she be when she blows her pipes loose during every performance? Case in point: Patti, Dionne Warwick, and Gladys Knight, clad in all white, singing “Superwoman,” for a pre-low-carb Oprah Winfrey. All three women are phenomenal, but Patti kills it.


  • blackwomenblowthetrumpet.blogspot.com said:

    Hey there!!

    Congrats on your finalist nod!!!!


    I love Patti… but if anyone has seen Celia Cruz…they will be able to tell that LOOOONG before there was Patti with her outrageousness, there was Celia and Patti copied off of ALL of Celia’s fabulousness if you look at the old, old photos of Celia.

    Celia even had the crazy high heel shoes on stage when Patti was just a little raggamuffin in elementary school!!


  • Malcolm said:

    I had almost forgotten what Oprah Winfrey was like before she became Oprah. I could actually tolerate her back when this episode aired.

    The ladies were jamming, there’s no doubt about it. I saw Patti perform at the Fox Theater in Detroit back in 1999 and she put on a show, kicked those heels off and everything. Hopefully, the RRHOF committee will get their act together and induct Patti ‘cuz it’s long overdue.

  • Reginald Dorsey said:

    Patti gets endless respct from me because her, Nona, Cindy, and the other chick were down with Curtis Mayfield and the Impressions back in the mid-60’s. They did a really good version of Curtis’ “I’m Still Waiting”, which was also covered by alot of Rocksteady acts in Jamaica (HAPPY BELATED BIRTHDAY, MARCUS GARVEY!!!!) in the 60’s too.

  • Julian said:

    “Hey mista how’s your dauuughteeer?”

  • Anonymous said:

    Lisa: Celia, (RIP) was and will always be the Queen of Salsa………..

    Why call Patti a ragamuffin. Please have some respect for a woman who has entertained for over 40 years. Plus, she copies no one. She is innovative. It is called BlACKNESS!

    Peace and love

  • Reginald Dorsey said:

    I was long ago convinced that Celia and Patti’s great-great-great-great-great grandfathers were brothers from the Bight of Benin. One got dropped off in Havana, and the other got dropped off probably in Virginia somewhere.

  • NaturallyAlise said:

    And besides her obvious greatness, didn’t you love her on Different World as Dwayne’s mama, with her prune cobbler!!!

  • Michelle said:

    Patti LaBelle is fabulous…but still manages to project an image of “down home realness”…without being a minstrel show. I saw an interview where she said she keeps hot sauce in her pocketbook so she can put it on her food when she goes out. Yeah, she got some cosmetic work done…but Miss Patti looks GOOD. “Livin’ it up with Patti LaBelle” on TV One is one of my guilty pleasures.

  • April said:

    Patti Labelle is a phenominal woman. She has a octave range of 6 not five but 6 and the 6 is a whistle. Home gurl can blow. I had the most gracious chance to see her live back stage and front row she can go. She can hold them notes better longer and powerful now at 65 than she did when she was 45. Patti is a blessing Patti put own a show and its like you are getting your own private show. She came out walking exactly as if she been modeling all her life with 6 inch Christian louboutin heels and did her thing. SHe had exactly 12 pair going around the piano. John Stanley needs to be fired he cant sing to me. But The lady that sings back up for her the heavy set lady that has been with Patti for almost her entire career can get down right along with Dr. Labelle. And yes she is a Dr. She has earned to be exact 4 Dr. Degrees. She is a fine example of a real woman with class and dignity. She not only respects her self but she respects authority and respects others.

  • Fresh Black Girls Patti LaBelle What Would Thembi Do | Toe Nail Fungus said:

    […] Fresh Black Girls Patti LaBelle What Would Thembi Do Posted by root 6 minutes ago (http://www.whatwouldthembido.com) Always distinctive patti labelle is the very mold for the diva add your comment below or trackback from your own site tweet me on the spot twitter com thembithembi powered by wordpress log in entries rss comments rss arthemia theme by michael hutagalung m Discuss  |  Bury |  News | Fresh Black Girls Patti LaBelle What Would Thembi Do […]

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