Patti Labelle On Which Singers Inspire Her: “Not Many”

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February 13, 2014 ‐ By

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Last month we told you about how Patti Labelle came for “all the little heifers” out here referring to themselves as divas.  When in reality, they can’t sing all that well. Yikes. She didn’t name names though, so were left guessing about who she was referencing.

But today, on “The Queen Latifah” show she spoke about the singers she actually admires today. See who she named and who she called a mini version of herself.

Queen Latifah: What performers inspire you today?

Patti: “Who’s awesome? I think Fantasia is awesome. She’s a mini me. You know, she kicks her shoes off before she starts the show.  I said ‘Baby girl, wait until at least the seventh song.’ She says, ‘Mama, I like to kick em off when I get out there like you do.’ She is one of the people that you should watch. Of course, Christina Aguilera. Of course…umm not many. There are a lot of people that call themselves whatever. But we know best. You know, Dana.”

The shade.

And then she went back to Fantasia again:

“I love Fantasia. Fantasia is a baby Patti LaBelle. When I see her, I see me when I was younger. But even though I’m not as young as she is, we can still stand strong together. She’s phenomenal. She does what she does. She takes her shoes off. She doesn’t think about what she’s doing on stage, and that’s what I love about her. When I’m on stage I never think about anything. I just sing.”

Mama Patti does not mince words. Not at all. So I guess we can assume she doesn’t really ride for all the people she didn’t mention. And that’s alright. She’s certainly entitled because at the end of the day, Miss Patti has the talent to make her opinions weighty.

She performed “If Only You Knew” later on in the show and did her thang like only she can.

Also, Queen Latifah recalled how Patti Labelle was there for she and her family when she lost her brother.

“You know in 1992, I lost my brother in a motorcycle accident. And I was very, very disillusioned about the music business. I felt like fans didn’t really care. Nobody really cared. People would say, ‘Sorry, about your brother…can I get your autograph?” in the same sentence. And I felt like y’all have no idea how ripped apart I am. But you reached out to me. You reached out to my family and my mom. And you wrapped your arms around us and you told me you understood and you had been through things and you shared just time and spoke to us and showed me that love. And it let me know that people do care, they do care and I need to keep doing what I’m doing.”

Patti has spoken several times about losing her youngest sister Jackie Padget, so it’s beautiful that she was able to come alongside Queen Latifah and her family during their time of grief and inspire her to keep pushing.

You can check out a clip of the interview below and Patti’s performance of “If Only You Knew” on the next page.

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  • flyguy

    Patti like some other singers can sing their buts off but they don’t have that IT factor Beyoncé is not that great of a singer but she is the total package and has that IT factor. Looks body swag and style to go alone with her average singing voice.IT’S CALL IT PEOPLE and Patti, Jhud, Tashia don’t have it but they call all sing better than Bey.

  • flyguy

    It’s true Patti is sore like other like Jhud because she see people who can’t sing half as good but are more popular so she throw hate. Say what you want be it’s true

  • Islandchic

    Finallyyyy Somebody is not bowing down to Beyonce

  • Patricia

    Patti is correct. There are not a lot of female singers. American Idol, Simon Cowell, if you are reading this, this is who you should get to be a judge on your television shows. Not the foolishness that you have on there now. This woman been in this business for over 50 years and know the business inside out.

  • Just saying!!

    Ughhhhh these comments are SO annoying! How come anytime someone today voices their opinion we automatically point to the relevancy of the person or whether or not they’re “hating”. Can she really not just have this opinion without looking for attention or hating on younger artists? I mean I agree with her and I’m not bitter lol. SHEESH!!!

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  • Candace Glasper

    I think Patti is coming from a different perspective. We must remember that nothing was “handed” to them back in those days. They had REAL talent and still, with those talents had MANY obstacles to overcome. Many entertainers these days are provided contracts based on looks and appeal to a certain audience. I find the music industry a bit discriminating, overlooking actual talent. Some of my favorite artists (Chrisette Michelle and Ledisi) are absolutely wonderful singers, but can’t go “mainstream” because they don’t fit a certain exterior criteria. Patti has made a music to last a lifetime and will be heard by generations to come. We can’t say that statement for many of today’s artist.

  • Eri Cad

    I agree with Mama Patti. You know she’s from a time in music where being a powerhouse voice was what brought you success. They didn’t have music videos. I think now people can coast on their looks, PR and dancing more than their singing. People can say whatever they want about Fantasia but she blows the roof a concert hall when she gets to singing. Reminds me of how Whitney still gives me chills when I listen to one of her songs or Phyllis Hyman or Gladys Knight. Got them church voices that always use to get the whole congregation stirred up. Mama Patti aint doing nothing but speaking the truth how grown folks do. She’s not from this new school where everyone is politically correct because they don’t want any backlash.

    • 1Val

      I disagree. For looks have always been a factor in entertainment industry for women and men. In fact, balladeers had to be pretty to seduce the ladies to buy records such as Smokey Robinson, Marvin Gaye and Sam Cooke. There were male artists that lacked their success but could blow because they did not have the right image like Bobby Womack, Teddy Pendergrass and Jeffrey Osborne confined to being R&B stars instead of superstars. James Brown wasn’t pretty but he could sing and dance which aided his success. I’m a huge fan of Fantasia. She can sing but lacks the “look” for mainstream appeal. Its sad but it is true. If Fantasia looked like the more successful artists Rhianna, Beyonce, Mariah and Alicia while singing like she does we would have another Whitney Houston who possessed undeniable beauty AND talent. It isn’t politically correct but if Patti LaBelle was deemed beautiful by industry standards she would be a bigger star and less bitter that her talent wasn’t enough to get her there.

      • Mister

        Really? Barbara Streisand isn’t Ugly but she’s not exactly Pretty. Her great voice made her a Star and her natural acting Gift made her a Super Star. Patti’s CD’s prove she can sing Big & Small Beautifully. Your opinion about her looks lessening her 52yr Career let’s us know you’re a Teenager or an Ignorant Adult. Patti’s talent has sustained her Career for 52yrs. People don’t care about her Wigs or her makeup artist. Your argument is Shallow. Do you like your own “looks”?

        • 1Val

          You have your opinion and I have mine. Lookism is a factor in entertainment industry.

  • KeepingItReal

    The so-called “singers” today are garbage and the world knows it. Ms. Patti is right. The greed of music industry moguls destroyed the artistry. Now…there’s nothing.

  • Model Behaviour’

    Lol yeah Ms Patti still diva she trained Fantashia well too bad many of these youngens cant successfully keep their longevity as a diva and songtress for so many years

  • Check Fantasia’s Resume

    It annoys me that people don’t give Fantasia her due props! We’re watching a legend in the making.

    She made billboard history in 2004 by being the first to EVER debut at #1 on billboards Hot 100. Her book was on the Bestsellers list for weeks, her Lifetime movie is the second most watched life time movie of all time. She’s done broadway twice, the first time, she did “The Color Purple” and received a Theatre award for that role as well as critical acclaim. Her second time on broadway, which was recently in “After Midnight” she ushered in the “Hottest show on Broadway” and all of broadway is buzzing about her possible 2014 Tony nomination. She toured with Classical singer Andrea Bochelli and sang in Classical Italian…. Her lastest album “Side Effects of You” debuted at #1 in R&B and #2 in the billboard 200… AND was ranked on Vultures Top 10 albums of 2013

    . WHAT MORE MUST SHE DO BEFORE YALL GIVER HER THE RESPECT SHE HAS EARNED?

  • Hey Yall

    Ms. Patti,

    Welcome to the Fantasia STAN club. Your membership card is in the mail. #HailQueenTasia

  • ananguromo

    It’s unique to have such people on this site to share things I don’t understand. I love to learn from more by sharing ideas with people all around the world.

  • Shiquita

    Why are people upset, she didn’t lie.

  • Anesha Johnson

    Ms. Patti is gonna tell it like it is always. Tasia has been through a lot, but to see her come back and try again is amazing. We’ve all been there done that.

  • newdnewd

    Everyone has different opinions. I personally believe that just because you scream from the top of your uterus doesn’t mean you can sing and while I luv Fantasia she is too much sometimes. Sometimes I like a smooth fluid voice like Sade or Aaliyah.

    • Tricia

      “…the top of your uterus…” that killed me. I do love Fantasia though. i think she deserves more success that she garners.

    • venus baptiste

      It doesn
      t hurt to be able to actually HEAR them either especially in an auditorium. Half of these girls sing with their mouths closed–(Rihanna) or just lip synch altogether. I was at a Beyonce concert about four five years ago–my friend paid 200$ apiece and old girl wasnt even in sych with the track!! He felt played!! Who the frack wants to pay for someone to pretend singing to them?!!

    • Just saying!!

      Aaliyah is a beautiful girl but I never understood why people try to make her out to be a vocalist. She was an entertainer. Her singing was like the equivalent of a “two-step” in dancing–nice songs and nice music but nothing particularly demanding. I think people sometimes feel obligated to say these things because she is deceased (may she rest in peace). Sade is good though.

      • flyguy

        You are so right because she passed people try to make her so big, but she was not any better than Monica or Brandy…I laugh when they try to make her as big as Beyoncé.

      • newdnewd

        Or maybe they are just fans I am a fan of hers and her voice was soothing to me, but, to each their own.

      • anonymouse

        have you heard her cover of ‘at your best ( you are love)’? Vocally, it’s gorgeous and I didn’t think she was much of a singer until I heard that song.

    • flyguy

      That why I don’t like Patti she don’t sing she screams, and she try to out sing other when she on stage with them.

  • MJangel4927

    Yes! Bout time someone give Fantasia the recognition she deserves!

  • Shawndrea Rachelle

    I hate how older people bunch all younger artists into one category. What about (in no particular order) Monica, Alicia , J Hud, Jhene Aiko, Chrissette Michelle, Mariah, Leona Lewis, Emeli Sande, hell even K. Michelle! I could name more but I’m not going through my whole phone for one post. Also, Katy Perry and Ellie Goulding are very talented!! My God, GET OVER YOURSELF

    • pj

      But it’s her opinion. Queen asked her who She thought was awesome. Also, Patti and Fantasia have a special relationship so of course she would say her. (And Mariah is not one of today’s singers).

      • Shawndrea Rachelle

        She’s way younger than Patti so that’s why I included her. And that’s just what young black women need -older ones disowning them.

        • pj

          How is that disowning? She is not obligated to like any of the singers you listed. I’m pretty sure there are black singers you don’t like. And you have that right. She didn’t say that she didn’t like those singers she just didn’t list them.

          • Shawndrea Rachelle

            I agree. I’m not encouraging anyone to hold a gun to her head and say she HAS to like them, but to bunch ALL of today’s artists, many of whom where inspired by her, into the category of “talentless little heifers ” is disowning. Just like you have your opinion and she has hers, I have mine.

            • pj

              So…your logic is, if I don’t say your name I think your talentless? Patti is always on someone’s show doing a tribute. She loves many singers, Fantasia may just be her favorite.

              • Shawndrea Rachelle

                All I’m saying is that Ms. Patti and several older black women act disowning and condescending towards younger black women. If you don’t see that then that’s OKAY. I’m OBVIOUSLY analyzing something differently then you. Why are you so mad?

        • anonymouse

          patti is mariah’s godmother (i don’t know how that came about!), so I think they’re cool with each other.

        • Just saying!!

          Ummm Patti praises Mariah all the time. Look up their performances together. She even dubbed her the best voice of her generation. Try again boo.

          • Shawndrea Rachelle

            Stfu. Of all the people I named Mariah is the only person y’all say something about. Try again boo.

      • calibabygirl02

        And its already known she loves Mariah thats her ‘God daughter’ and they have both been key performers at each others tribute concerts (you tube it) ;)

  • Melody Carroll

    YEP SHE RIGHT FANTASIA CAN REALLY SING

    • 1Val

      Yes, Fantasia can sing but she isn’t the only one.

      • kipp

        She isn’t the only one but she has the “it” factor that many great singers lack. It’s no coincidence that Patti, Chaka, Aretha and Gladys all praise Fantasia.

  • Dominique Thompson

    I loooooves me some Ms. Patti and Fantasia can sing but I can only deal with so much yelling so I can’t take Fanny seriously sometimes.

  • IJS

    Patti is doing too much with these rants about current singers. I love her but I am starting to think her attitude is a big part of the reason her success has always been so limited …

    • 1Val

      Ms. Patti’s success has always been limited because she is unattractive by mainstream standards. Unfortunately, for female entertainers lookism trumps talent.

      Beyonce, Rhianna, Alicia, J-Lo, Shakira, are more successful than Fantasia, Jennifer Hudson, Ledisi and Chrisette Michelle NOT because they sing better than those artists they just happen to look better by others standards of beauty. Diana Ross certainly can’t sing like Patti but outsold her music of their generation.

      Patti is speaking from an unattractive girl’s pain instead of being a mean girl. For her sake, I hope Patti lets her bitterness go over the unfairness of attractive less talented female entertainers being more successful in the industry before she becomes another Phyllis Hyman who just couldn’t accept her talent alone wasn’t enough to make her as successful as she felt entitled to be.

      • Guest

        You sound retarded. Patti Labelle has had a successful career and is legendary. How the hell is she bitter when she’s been in the business since the 1960s and still relevant today?

        • 1Val

          Can you make a point without resorting to theatrics of profanity and belittling others? Pattie Labelle is very much bitter that she has never had the success she obviously feels that she so rightfully deserves. If Patti had obtained the wealth, status and accolades of her contemporaries black female superstars such as Tina Turner, Diana Ross and/or Aretha Franklin she wouldn’t be performing doing grueling tours at her tender retirement age.

          But they unlike her had more mainstream success. Say what you like it is one thing for Patti to kill it doing the chitlin circuit but quite another for her to sell out Madison Square Garden like Tina, Aretha and Diana during their heyday. And that is why Patti is constantly throwing shade at the younger “divas” because the game hasn’t change just the players.

          • Guest

            Tina is the only one who has “retired” the other ladies you named all still perform to this day. If she didn’t have “success” as you say why has she received several honors, awards, and lifetime achievement awards? Did she not earn them? Would they have been given to her if she wasn’t a success? I know a snowstorm may be outside, but go to the store, buy some bleach, and drink it please .

            • 1Val

              Please stay on topic. You are attempting to create a side argument. I NEVER stated Patti wasn’t successful. I said she is not as successful as her contemporaries whom she feels lacks her vocal talent.

          • Guest

            And you do realize Patti has Grammys and Diana has none right?

            • 1Val

              And Diana is more successful than Patti. It really isn’t an issue to debate. Patti LaBelle is successful but she has never been as successful as Diana Ross.

          • Lisa

            She said music is her life. Some people can’t stop performing. It is like when Michael Jordan went back to basketball when he had no business! Patti is blessed she can still do what she loves. Watch her interview with Oprah she did recently. She is not doing it for the money. And you are aging yourself because if you grew up in the 7)’s and 80′s, you would know that. Patti was successful and IS a legend. And she has a right to her own opinion. You never know how those other singer she chose not to mention are in real life. Maybe they are beeotches. Besides she named the people that consider her an inspiration. We all know Beyonce rides hard for Tina Turner, so why would she mentioned her? She gave props to fanstasia because that’s who emulates her.

          • mzdiva

            Patti has sold out the main arenas as well do your research. Diana only sold more because she was involved with BerrY Gordy. Patti has done broadway shows, Tv Shows, her line of products as well and she is certainly entitle to her own opinion. Also when the last time we heard Diana or Areatha on Tour and Tina wasn’t really popular hear when she stop singing with Ike she did alot of her stuff overseas and she sang mostly rock not R & B.

            • anonymouse

              she’s also sold 50 million records, but the poster wants to call that an
              ‘unsuccessful’ career.

            • 1Val

              Again, your post validates my original comment of lookism impacting female artists careers. Diana Ross had mainstream appeal. Although, Berry Gordy that fact alone did not sell out stadiums or records. Tina Turner had crossover appeal to sell overseas and do rock music. Again, back to lookism, sex appeal and desirablity by the masses to propel female artists careers. Never stated Patti has not been successful just not as successful as aforementioned artists.

              • anonymouse

                then how do you explain aretha’s success?? she’s not exactly a covergirl herself?

          • Taryn Bryant

            Patti Labelle is legedary. She can’t stand the way these up and comers are calling themselves divas without actually earning the title and not knowing the essence of the word. Many of these so-called “entertainers” today are just that, “entertainers”. They cannot actually sing, they just entertain. No amount of jiggling around on stage or media attention can make one a diva. If they want to be one, actually learn to sing, have the talent. Learn what music really is. There are lots of performers but few musicians. Patti’s music can stand the test of time. How about the rest?

      • Guest

        And Phyllis Hyman killed herself. Don’t you think if Patti Labelle wanted to kill herself she would’ve done it a long time ago and not waited until she was about to turn 70? Jesus

        • 1Val

          The commonalities that Patti and Phyllis shares are immense talent, limited commercial success and resentment of other artists success.

          • Guest

            Here’s my issue with your life. You’re acting like Patti’s career isn’t a success because Aretha, Diana, and Tina may have outsold her in records. That could be true but Diana hasn’t won any Grammys. Patti has. Truth be told Tina wasn’t a big selling artist until the 80s. How does Patti show resentment of other artists success when she she, Gladys, and Chaka always praise each other. People refer to Patti as inspiration and call her an icon. I’m gonna pray for you.

            • 1Val

              Here’s my issue with your comments to me. You are unable to rebut without personal attacks. Everyone is entitled to their opinions whether you disagree or not. Thanks for confirming that Patti career has never been as successful as Tina, Aretha or Diana. It does not matter that Patti has won awards she has never had the sales of aforesaid artists which was and is my point. And for the record I never stated Patti career hasn’t been successful. I stated that her career has not been as successful as her contemporaries whom she feels that she outperforms. Just because Patti admires a few artists does not negate her constant need to rant about today’s artist lack of talent. Patti displays resentment for artists by consistently making snide comments.

          • Toni

            If that is so, prove it. I want facts. It sounds like you dislike Patti and not give credit.

            • Gert

              She just doesn’t know about Patti, so she doesn’t appreciate her talent and success.

              • 1Val

                Patti and Phyllis both felt they were not as successful as they thought they should be. Phyllis Hyman’s coped by doing drugs.

                • Gert

                  I acknowledge that, but Patti was extremely successful…but for some it is never enough. In other words Patti felt she was do more respect, but in my eyes she was receiving that. She just didn’t see it.

                  As far as Phyllis, she was before her time and yes she did feel that way…but she also suffered from depression and was bi-polar and masked that with drugs as well as not taking her prescriptions. So even if she would have gotten the recognition in which she felt she deserved, it wouldn’t have made a difference in her life. It was her mentall illness that caused her suicide not her career.

                  But I do agree that both felt they were owed more than what they received.

              • flyguy

                Please did you see unsung? Because she felt that she hadn’t got her props was the reason she was depress and a drug addition.

                • Gert

                  Yes i did watch unsung, and did u miss the part when they stated she was diagnos with being bi-polar. Its also been documented in othwr sources as well. I am a phylis Hyman fan so i know all about her.

            • 1Val

              I like Patti. Patti is not as great as she thinks she should be.

              • Guest

                Please prove that. Please or drink that bleac

        • lisa

          LOL

      • Anesha Johnson

        How dare you make such a disgraceful reference, to bring up Phyllis Hyman was uncalled for. Patti will be just fine, she calls like she sees it honey. Patti still has her voice and her confidence to match. Phyllis was a beautiful woman with a powerful voice, and presence, the record could NOT handle her talent. They pushed her to the side, discarded her like she was nothing.

      • Chile Cheese

        Uhhhhh……..A great deal of Phyllis Hyman’s problem was that she was bi-polar and she didn’t want to take her medicine and found life way too hard to continue to live. Please educate yourself before you speak on things like this. Mental illness was probably 90% of her problem.

        • Gert

          I just mentioned that in an earlier post, and you are 100% correct. When Phylis took her life she was actually at the height of her comeback.

      • blu

        1Val I love Patti but I definately get what you are saying. Patti is phenomenal and while she is successful she didnt experience the same mainstream popularity and success as Aretha and Diana and trust I would much rather see Patti than Diana. I read an article about Patti recently and it addressed the same topics that you speak of. Patti’s unspokeness was a great hinderance to her career in its early stages and while she had moderate R&B success she didnt experience crossover success until the Beverly Hills Cop soundtrack and we all know you arent really making money until “everybody” is buying your music. No shade.. I get what youre saying.

  • PattisBae

    Yes!! Mama Patti said Fantasia and Christina Aguilera. TELL THE TRUTH MAMA! TELL IT!
    We know better, lol.

  • Auntieruckus

    Yes fantasia is the sole career of rythm and blues and loon how she is treated… Love tasia.
    I forgot queen’s name was dana owens lol love her and miss labelle.