Patricia Louise Holte (born May 24, 1944) best known as Patti LaBelle, is an American singer, actress and businesswoman. LaBelle is referred to as the “Godmother of Soul”.
She began her career in the early 1960s as lead singer and frontwoman of the vocal group Patti LaBelle and the Bluebelles. Following the group’s name change to Labelle in the 1970s, they released the popular number-one hit “Lady Marmalade”. As a result, after the group split in 1976, LaBelle began a successful solo career, starting with her critically acclaimed debut album, which included the career-defining song, “You Are My Friend”. LaBelle became a mainstream solo star in 1984 following the success of the singles “If Only You Knew”, “Love, Need and Want You” (later sampled for 2002’s “Dilemma”), “New Attitude” and “Stir It Up”. Less than two years later, in 1986, LaBelle scored a number-one album Winner in You and its number-one duet single, “On My Own”, with Michael McDonald.
In 1989, Be Yourself spawned the standard “If You Asked Me To” (later covered by Celine Dion). LaBelle won a 1992 Grammy for Best Female R&B Vocal Performance for her 1991 album Burnin’, an album that featured “Somebody Loves You Baby (You Know Who It Is)”, “Feels Like Another One”, and “When You’ve Been Blessed (Feels Like Heaven)”.
LaBelle earned a second Grammy win for the live album Live! One Night Only. Her 1990s albums Burnin’, Gems (1994) and Flame (1997) continued her popularity with young R&B audiences throughout the decade. She reunited with her Labelle bandmates for the album Back to Now, followed by a well-received promotional tour.
She has also experienced success as an actress with a role in the Oscar-nominated film A Soldier’s Story, and in TV shows such as A Different World and American Horror Story: Freak Show. In 1992, LaBelle starred in her own TV sitcom Out All Night. A decade later, LaBelle hosted her own lifestyle TV show, Living It Up with Patti LaBelle on TV One. In 2015, LaBelle took part in the dance competition Dancing with the Stars at the age of 70. Labelle has also seen success launching her own brand of bedding, cookbooks, and food for various companies. In 2015 her Patti’s Sweet Potato Pie sold millions when a YouTube video praising the product went viral. As a result, over a 72-hour period, Walmart sold one pie every second.
In a career that has spanned seven decades, she has sold more than 50 million records worldwide. LaBelle has been inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame, the Hollywood Walk of Fame, the Black Music & Entertainment Walk of Fame, and the Apollo Theater Hall of Fame. LaBelle was included in Rolling Stone on their list of 100 Greatest Singers. LaBelle is a dramatic soprano recognized for her vocal power, range and emotive delivery. (More)