“I Started This Stuff”: Patti LaBelle Speaks On Her Influence On The Wacky Past And Present Styles Of Lady Gaga, Nicki Minaj, And Other Divas

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Patti LaBelle is a lot of things, including a diva, but she’s also a trailblazer in both music and fashion. In a recent interview with Meredith Vieira, she talked about how she believes that she ushered in the vibrant style that today’s pop stars have embraced. You know it: the over-the-top costumes, big and bright hair–the whole gimmick.

“I think it’s wonderful. You know why? I think I started this stuff back in the day. Sarah Dash, Nona Hendryx and myself, we were very outrageous. We took so many chances with fashion. And when Nicki and all the girls do this now, I say ‘God bless you for having the nerve to go out there crazy.’ Sometimes it’s crazy, but it’s good.”

LaBelle says that when she was rocking her ornate attire while solo, and also when she was in Labelle, she did so because, according to her, black singers had to do a lot to get attention on their actual talent back in the day.

“It was actually for a real reason. Being black singers, you don’t get as much attention as other folks, so you do gimmicks. So that costume that we wore back in the day was to get your attention to look at us, and then listen. Because if you don’t have something–swear to God, that’s true. People have to say, ‘God, what is that?’ But then they’ll hear the voices.”

Check out LaBelle’s chat with Vieira below and share your thoughts:

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