Patti LaBelle has been singing R&B, soul and gospel for almost 50 years and shows no signs of slowing down.
Born and raised in Philadelphia, LaBelle’s musical career began with The Ordettes in 1958. Later she formed Patti LaBelle and The Bluebelles, which had a Top 40 hit in 1962 (“I Sold My Heart to the Junkman”). The group recorded and toured through most of the ’60s. Her version of “Over the Rainbow” took the song out of Oz.
The Bluebelles moved to England in 1970, but returned to the States a year later with a new promoter and a new name, Labelle — and a new look. In 1975, the group scored a No. 1 hit with “Lady Marmalade,” a tune that’s being played in a dance club somewhere in the world right now. The remake of this song from the film Moulin Rouge (sung by Christina Aguilera, Lil’ Kim, Pink and Mya) introduced LaBelle’s music to a new generation of fans.
LaBelle recorded her first solo album in 1977. Over the years, she’s had chart hits like “You Are My Friend,” “Joy to Have Your Love,” “If You Only Knew” and the No. 1 duet with Michael McDonald “On My Own.” “The Right Kind Of Lover,” a reissue of Labelle’s “Turn It Out” and “When You Talk About Love” all hit No. 1 on the dance charts. She also appeared in the films A Soldier’s Story and last year’s Idlewild. When The Who performed an all-star performance of Tommy in 1989, LaBelle performed as The Acid Queen. She recorded The Gospel According to Patti LaBelle last year, and her latest album is ready for the holidays, called Miss Patti’s Christmas.