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New Interview! Patti Kicks of 2015 / 2016 Tour Tonight!

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

  1. Dennis Dennis Shook

    Patti kicks off her 2015/2016 Tour Tonight! Proceeding with two more mores back to back. Here is a new special interview with Ms. Patti. Enjoy the shows Patti fans! You wouldn’t know it watching her sing, but Patti LaBelle is terribly shy when it comes to speaking in front of people.
    “I sing and between some of the songs I’ll have a conversation, but I’m very shy when it comes to speaking,” LaBelle told the Tulsa World. “Now, singing, that just takes me out of my shyness. It takes it away when I sing. But don’t make me have to talk.”
    The shyness erodes and what’s left when she sings is a powerful, fierce diva who brings energetic and enormously fun shows to a still-growing number of fans. And this week, that show comes to Tulsa.
    LaBelle will perform Thursday at The Joint at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tulsa. Doors open at 7 p.m., and tickets start at $55 plus fees. Tickets are available at hardrockcasinotulsa.com or at The Joint box office, 777 W. Cherokee St., Catoosa.
    It’s been a long road for LaBelle, who started singing like a lot of young people: dancing in the bedroom with a broomstick as a mic stand.
    “My mother and father always said how fierce my voice was — of course, they didn’t use that term” then, LaBelle said. “It led me to the choir where I started singing.”
    She was not yet a teenager, but singing in the choir in her native Philadelphia led her to confront her shyness. A big hurdle came when her choir director put a young LaBelle front and center to sing a solo.
    “When I had to go in front of the choir and sing lead, I got a standing ovation; hallelujah, thank you Jesus,” LaBelle said. “I knew I was going to be OK as a singer.”
    By the late ’50s, LaBelle had formed The Ordettes and soon after that formed Patti LaBelle and the Bluebelles, which would eventually become just Labelle in the 1970s.
    The 1960s had several albums and tours for LaBelle and her group. But it was as the group Labelle that they would have their big breakout hit: the disco standard “Lady Marmalade.”
    “We found the song on the way to record with Alan Toussaint in New Orleans through Bob Creue,” LaBelle said. “He asked us to stop by his house before we went to the airport. He played this song, and we knew it was a hit. We just knew when we got there it had to be the first song that we record for that project.”
    The dance hit reached No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100, sold more than 1 million copies and helped Labelle land on the cover of Rolling Stone magazine.
    “It’s 40, 41 years now, and it still has that same impact whenever I sing it,” LaBelle said. “The audience, they do the same thing: Everybody loves that song.”
    They continued to record and tour as Labelle, but by the late 1970s, LaBelle had struck out on her own.
    She continued to record and perform but used this opportunity to branch out into acting and working with a range of musicians, her powerful voice and wide range leading the way in each project.
    But every time a new project came along, she took her time to nail down the skills she would need to produce her best show.
    “If someone asked me to do one of those projects, I would have to think about it, and I would have to attack it,” LaBelle said. “I wanted to say yes, but I wanted to really be a decent actress when I did things like that. When I went into my products, I had to make sure everything was decent, that my name was behind it and I had to be proud of whatever I do. Other than singing I’ve been blessed with some other projects, thank God, and I’m holding on.”
    Those projects have included more and more acting gigs, most recently on the TV shows “Empire,” “Dancing with the Stars” and “American Horror Story: Freak Show.”
    It also led her to be among the top divas performing a special concert at the White House. The “Women of Soul: In Performance at the White House” was an enormous honor, she said.
    “I had to restrain a few things,” LaBelle said about her White House performance. “Sometimes I roll on the floor and I throw the microphone stand. Not at the White House. I had to keep all that stuff in my back pocket. But I felt loose enough to be myself.”
    That work ethic still continues to the stage today, where she maintains an active touring and performing schedule. And with energetic shows that involve shoe changes and masterful, soulful singing, it keeps her fresh.
    “It’s a great feeling when you turn 71 and people think that it’s over and you should just sit down in your rocking chair and chill,” LaBelle said. “I think when you’re 71 you should go out and tour and please as many people as possible. And that’s what I do. It keeps me young.”

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