Today, the legendary singer and actress Patti LaBelle celebrates her 78th birthday. With a career spanning over 60 years, LaBelle has become a symbol of longevity across multiple genres of entertainment.
Throughout her life, Patti has continued to reinvent herself both in music and in fashion, successfully adapting to the many changes that took place in those industries. What makes this legendary singer and actress particularly special is that she was able to stay ahead of the curve in each era; setting the trend instead of trying to blend in like so many others.
From her introduction into the public eye with the group the Bluebelles (later changed to LaBelle), to rising to the ranks of superstardom as a soloist, Patti has become a staple in Black culture, and established herself as the “Godmother of Soul.”
As we honor this award-winning musician on her birthday, let’s revisit her most iconic looks over the years.
Patti LaBelle and The Bluebelles
Photo by Gilles Petard/Redferns
Photo by RB/Redferns
LaBelle before a performance.
Photo by Ian Dickson/Redferns
Soul Train performance, 1976.
Photo by Soul Train via Getty Images
Performing In Los Angeles, 1974.
Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images
Appearance on Cher’s Variety show, 1975.
Photo by CBS via Getty Images
Patti, wearing her crown.
Photo by David Corio/Redferns
Backstage in Chicago, 1987.
Photo By Raymond Boyd/Getty Images
On stage at the Westbury Music Fair.
Photo by Steve Azzara/Corbis via Getty Images
Patti in the 80s
Photo by Anthony Barboza/Getty Images
Photo by Paul Natkin/Getty Images
2000 Essence Awards
Photo by KMazur/WireImage
The 12th Annual Rainforest Foundation Concert – Show
Photo by Kevin Kane/WireImage
2003 ESSENCE Festival
Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images
7th Annual VH1 “Divas” Concert
Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images
18th Annual Fashion Cares Gala.
Photo by George Pimentel/WireImage
At the Versace menswear premiere, 2008.
Photo by Marcel Thomas/FilmMagic
An Evening Of Stars
Photo by Leon Bennett/WireImage
The Pajama Program 2006 Awards Benefit Luncheon
Photo by Shane Gritzinger/FilmMagic
In Concert with Babyface, 2018
Photo by Aaron J. Thornton/Getty Images
Tyler Perry Studios Grand Opening Gala, 2019
Photo by Paras Griffin/Getty Images for Tyler Perry Studios