Labelle: Hotter than Ever

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Patti LaBelle held captive the stage of the Center for Performing Arts at Lehman College on Saturday, January 20th. 

And we were all willing prisoners. As ever, Patti dazzled and moved the crowd emotionally, making everyone fall in love with her. 

Patti was hot, not only musically but physically as well.  She charmed everyone with her mother earth quality and the down home way she explained she was flashing, hot flashing that is.  The fans screamed in amusement as Patti planted herself in front of the electric fans in order to give pause to her menopause. 

The electric fans did their job cooling off the steamy diva whose electrifying vocals, grace, and sweet demeanor only served to captivate and exhilarate the crowd as she sang her old standards. 

Patti held the audience in the palm of her hand transforming from super diva to mother goddess.  LaBelle was warm, loving, amusing, and simply divine.   Patti panted while belting out her vintage songs, regaling the crowd with Lady Marmalade, Burnin and On My Own, et al.  She ran the musical gamut from pop, R&B, gospel, and performed the classic repertoire that is purely Patti LaBelle.

“LaBelle, Patti LaBelle!” shouted the crowd.  “Say my name,” cried Patti strutting across the stage belting out song after song, leaving the frenzied fans eager for more.  And, the more they wanted, the more she gave. 

 “I love this venue.  It’s nice. So, I think I’ll come back. Yes, I’ll be back,” shouted Patti to an approving audience.  “I love you all for coming out to listen to me. I don’t have a hit record out so that must mean you came out to see me, I don’t know why…maybe love.  I am so pleased to look out and see that the house is full from the top to the bottom,” said the golden voiced star who was dressed in a muted gold pleated dress, complete with matching shoes and shimmering legs. 

LaBelle sipped her water, blew her nose, introduced friends in the audience, and pointed to a collection of shoes she had lined up on stage. “I’m wearing new shoes,” added the enduring artist. 

“They are not broken in and I just can’t stand it any longer. These shoes are pretty but my feel hurt” remarked Patti imploring the folks to wait while she changed into another 3” pair, switching shoes according to her comfort level at various times throughout her performance.  The crowd loved it.

Born Patrica Louise Holt in Philadelpia, Pennsylvania, LaBelle is the youngest of five children.  “You know there is diabetes in my family.  I have diabetes and have to take insulin. I had a foot examination recently and was glad to hear my feet are OK.  My mother had to have her foot amputated so I am relieved mine are healthy.  I lost two sisters to illness so I am very health concious,” explained the 62 year old Diva who looks 42.  Patti looked amazingly youthful so whatever fountain of youth she is sipping from, she needs to bottle it.  Ms. LaBelle was very emotional during the concert which only served to bring the audience closer to her.  She introduced a young man named Brandon whose mother died.  Brandon makes it to all Patti’s  concerts. “Brandon, where are you getting the money to come to all my concerts? How are you getting this money?” teased Patti who has become a surrogate mom to Brandon.

“You know I love to cook.  Once I get my cooking groove on, I will just about cook for anyone” stated Ms. LaBelle. “Sometimes, after a performance I might get hungry and I cant just go out and eat.  I also have to be careful what I eat, so I might cook something up in my hotel room.  If they have a hot plate, I will use that but if they don’t I will pull out some foil and an iron and get to ironing my food, “ chuckled LaBelle.  “One night I heated up some food for Vivica A. Fox. She said she couldn’t believe I was actually cooking food with an iron, but she ate it and enjoyed it” remarked the creative chef.

“I believe in the golden rule.  You know, do unto others…”  I implore everyone to give love to one another.  If we tried to understand one another instead of combat each other it would make for a better world.  I try to do my part,” said LaBelle who serves as a spokesperson for diabetes awareness, AIDS awareness,  and cancer awareness via her position as spokeswoman for the American Diabetes Association, the National Minority AIDS Council, and via her position on the Board of the National Cancer Institute. In fact, the University of Miami dedicated a research laboratory to honor Patti’s work on behalf of cancer awareness.

“LaBelle is getting back together,” said Patti.  “That’s right, Nona Hendryx, Sara Dash and me will be getting back together this year,” announce LaBelle proudly.  “We plan to tour and go into the studio,” stated Patti who has a clothing line available on HSN.

Admirers can also tune into Ms LaBelle’s show “Living It Up with Patti LaBelle,” on the TV One Network. Patti gave the grateful crowd her heart and soul during her show and the crowd gave Patti back as good as they got.  So moved was Patti, she promised the Bronx crowd she would return to Lehman College’s Center for the Performing Arts. 

To make sure she does, the Center’s executive director, Eva Bornstein, extended LaBelle an open invitation.  LaBelle fans have a second Patti LaBelle performance to look forward to in future as well as the upcoming O’Jays show slated for February 24th.


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