Listen to Patti LaBelle’s very special full episode of ESSENCE Podcast Network’s Yes, Girl! Podcast here:
Black don’t crack. It’s not just a saying, it’s true. We can look at any number of our matriarchs and mavens and see timelessness and fierceness. Patti LaBelle is one of the women who has been showstopping since she started singing and performing in the 1960s. And not only has she secured hit after hit through the decades, she’s established herself as a cultural icon from her music to her classic television and movie roles to her famous frozen foods and so much more.
It seems Miss Patti has done it all and yet, she keeps going – giving the rest of us something beautiful to aspire to.
“I feel 35. I still wear my pumps. I get out there and I just, I love to entertain. And I love to be fierce-looking,” LaBelle shared with Yes, Girl! hosts Cori Murray and Charli Penn.
“And it’s a blessing that I feel that way. I don’t feel like an older lady.”
LaBelle who recently celebrated her 76th birthday shared some soulful and salient memories on the latest episode of Yes, Girl! including:
…HOW LABELLE INFLUENCED FASHION AND AFROFUTURISM
“We wanted to be a different type of girl group. Most black girl groups, people weren’t looking at or listening to, we’re just three black women. So, we did say, okay, maybe we change our look, and we went into the silver and me with whatever hair I had, and the costumes were totally fierce. Once we got on stage to hear our story and our music, they had to look at us first and then something settled them down. And they said, “Oh wow. They’re talking about the revolution, they’re talking about things that black women might not be able to say.”
…THE BACKSTORY OF HER HIT ON MY OWN
“He said, “Well, Burt said, how would you like to do a duet?” I said, “I would love it as a duet because right now I’m not feeling it at all.” He said, “Who would you like to sing it with?” I said, “I love Michael MacDonald.”
…BEING THE FIRST BLACK GIRL GROUP TO PLAY METROPOLITAN OPERA HOUSE
“We asked Ron Delsener and he said, “Why not? That would be wonderful.” So we asked and we got that gig and it was a, wear something silver night, LaBelle. Everybody came in with something silver on. I remember Debbie Allen was there, Cher was there, the Cycle Sluts. Some people had their behinds hanging out with their little, whatever they had on.”
To hear the full episode, listen on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you listen to audio.