A soulful maven whose indelible talent has earned her a rightful place among rhythm and blues royalty, Patti LaBelle is a Grammy-winning R&B/soul singer known for her strong vocals and her signature high octave vocal belting. She fronted two groups, Patti LaBelle and the Bluebelles and LaBelle.
Although she is widely known for classic moonstruck ballads such as the duet “On My Own” with Michael McDonald, “If Only You Knew,” “You Are My Friend,” and “If You Asked Me To,” she continues to influence current artists such as Christina Aguilera, Missy Elliott, Pink, Mya, and Lil’ Kim who paid homage to the soulful diva with a hip-hop rendition of her 1973 hit “Lady Marmalade” for the Academy Award-winning musical Moulin Rouge. LaBelle was also showcased on VH1’s popular Divas special, accompanied by other superstar talents such as Jessica Simpson, Cyndi Lauper, and Gladys Knight.
As an author, she has written a New York Times best-selling biography titled Don’t Block the Blessings as well the best-selling cookbooks Patti LaBelle’s Lite Cuisine, LaBelle Cuisine, Patti’s Pearls, and Recipes for the Good Life. LaBelle also starred in her own sitcom-series Out All Night and numerous television shows and specials. She has also hosted a lifestyle show, Living It Up with Patti LaBelle, and has expanded her horizons into fashion with Patti LaBelle Clothing, available on HSN and at HSN.com.
A diabetic, LaBelle has been proactive in the fight against the disease that claimed her mother’s life. She serves as a spokeswoman for the National Medical Association that administers a scholarship in her name, the National Minority AIDS Council’s “Live Long, Sugar” campaign, and the American Diabetes Association. She also serves on the boards of the National Alzheimer Association and the National Cancer Institute. The University of Miami’s prestigious Sylvestri Comprehensive Care Center dedicated a special research laboratory in her honor for her work on behalf of cancer awareness. In addition, LaBelle has three honorary doctorate degrees from Cambridge University, Drexel University, and the Berklee School of Music, among a host of other accolades.
One of the greatest female vocalists of our time, Patti LaBelle gave birth to a new era of women’s music and, in the process, influenced a new generation of female singers. She discusses her music career and her advocacy work in engaging keynotes.