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This Day In History: May 24th
Famed “Lady Marmalade” songstress, Patti LaBelle, has spent more than 60 years capturing audiences with her powerful vocal and stage presence. Over the course of her career, LaBelle has shared the stage with talents such as The Supremes, The Rolling Stones, Luther Vandross, Gladys Knight and more. Here are five things to know about the legendary Patti LaBelle.
- Patti LaBelle Before The Fame. Patricia Louise Holte, better known as Patti LaBelle, was born on May 24, 1944 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She began singing in church from an earlier age and was encouraged to form a group after auditioning for a school play. The singer took her teacher’s advice and established her own group in 1959.
- From The Ordettes To Solo Success. Her career began as a member of the Ordettes in 1959, but the group was later renamed the Bluebelles in 1961. Member’s of the group included Cindy Birdsong, Nona Hendryx, Sarah Dash and LaBelle. By the early 1970’s they became known for their glamorous appearance and would take the stage in wild and futuristic costumes. The women earned national fame at The Apollo Theater in Harlem, New York. The Bluebelles remained together until creative differences caused the group to split up by the end of the decade.
LaBelle continued recording and released her solo debut album Patti LaBelle in 1977, which received critical acclaim. She earned her first solo Grammy Award nomination for the ballad “The Best is Yet to Come,” and recorded the No. 1 hit “On My Own,” with Michael MacDonald. Throughout her career, LaBelle has released more than 20 studio albums including Winner In You (1986), Burnin’ (1991), Flame (1997) and Classic Moments (2005).
- Television And Film Appearances. In addition to finding success in the music business, LaBelle also explored acting. She made her debut film appearance in the film, A Soldier’s Story (1984), as the character Big Mary. LaBelle can also be seen in shows such as A Different World, Greenleaf and Star.
- Interest Outside Of Entertainment. LaBelle has been able to explore other interest outside of Hollywood as well. In 1996, she added published author to her list of titles with the release of her biography, “Don’t Block the Blessings: Revelations of a Lifetime.” Since her first book, LaBelle has authored works certainly on one of her other passion points, cooking. She has published cookbooks including “LaBelle Cuisine: Recipes to Sing About” (1999), “Patti Labelle’s Lite Cuisine” (2001), “Recipes for the Good Life” (2008) and “Desserts LaBelle: Soulful Sweets to Sing About” (2017). Her renowned cooking abilities took social media and sweet potato pie lovers by storm. She introduced her famous sweet potato pies to the world and fans can purchase them from a variety of retailers including Walmart and Target.
- Awards And Honors. With a catalog like Patti LaBelle’s it is no surprise that she is considered to be a Queen of Rock and Soul. The performer has garnered a variety of honors including two Grammys, four NAACP Image awards and a Lifetime Achievement award from BET. In 1983, she was awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. LaBelle has been inducted into the Apollo Theater Hall of Fame and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. She was even featured in Rolling Stone’s list of 100 Greatest Singers.