Interview With Ms. Patti DWTS, JACKSON, MS. Show & More! NEW

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Dennis, Mar 4, 2015.

  1. Dennis Dennis Shook

    Patti LaBelle is a new grandmother and a celebrity chef with a line of sauces, as well as a Grammy Award-winning singer. Now, she's learning to ballroom dance.

    At 70, R&B diva Patti LaBelle has decades of stage moves in her muscle memory, but that's not the same strut "Dancing with the Stars" demands.

    "It's not easy. It's not easy, but it's something that I can do," LaBelle said with a chuckle Monday, five minutes before her third day in DWTS rehearsals. "I'm learning, but it's a lot to do when you do 'Dancing with the Stars.'

    "You're dancing with professionals, and I am just a singer and I'm not a dancer. Girl, I've been working it, though. I've been working really hard to stay on point."

    The Grammy-winning LaBelle, who performs in Jackson Friday night at the Jackson Convention Complex, is in the cast of the 20th season of "Dancing with the Stars," premiering at 7 p.m. March 16 on ABC. The singer who put "Lady Marmalade," "New Attitude" and more on the hit charts is partnered with Artem Chigvintsev, who's traveling with her to keep rehearsing. Some background footage for the show will be filmed here.

    This, she said, is "totally different" from any past stage experience. "When I go out to sing, I know what I'm gonna do. I don't practice for that. This, I have to practice for, because this is something I've never done.

    "My friend Gladys Knight (a 2012 DWTS competitor) called this morning, and said, 'Girl, you're in for something!' She said, 'I'm so happy you said yes.' I said, 'At 70, why say no?'"

    LaBelle may present her partner Chigvintsev at her Jackson concert. "It's not definite if I will, but I'm going to use my judgment. ... I think it would be nice.

    "He is with me forever, until I'm put off the show," she said, laughing. "He's with me for a long time because I'm going to win!"

    Learning the foxtrot is hardly the only thing on her agenda. LaBelle's next album, with release expected later this year, will feature old songs of the sort sung by Nina Simone and Frank Sinatra. "I wouldn't call it jazz," she said, but "music from back in the day.

    Her line of marinades and sauces, Patti's Good Life, started in 2011 and available at Wal-Mart, Kroger and more, are diabetic-friendly and "just awesome," she said, joking about her hottest hot sauce, "Hot Flash ... I'm going through hot flashes as we speak."

    Of the collection, she said, "If you can't cook, put that on your food and people will say, 'ooh, you can cook your face off!"

    And LaBelle welcomed her first grandchild last week — the seven-pound, two-ounce Gia. "She looks like a little button. She's just so cute." Her advice to the little one: "Grow up being kind and considerate of others. I want her to be a sweet person, not looking for everything in her lap because she wants it. To work for whatever she wants. And to achieve it, by doing it herself."

    It's the same advice she'd give to young musical artists. "If you think you have the talent, until someone tells you don't, don't give up on yourself. Believe in yourself."

    "Miss Patti LaBelle brings a lot of energy to her performance," promoter Yolanda Singleton of XPerience Jxn Entertainment said. Fans will be able to see the source material newer artists have patterned their careers after. Plus, "her voice is still flawless." Tickets for the 8 p.m. Friday show are available on, at the coliseum box office and at 1-800-745-3000.

    For DWTS, there's no one dance LaBelle was looking forward to at all, she said, "but I know if I stay there a couple of weeks I'll have to learn a few."

    But no flashy moves of her own. "I have the partner the whole time, holding my arm and guiding me, so I can't break out in a Patti shuffle," she said, laughing. "No way. This is all routine, darling."


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