About Patti LaBelle
After fronting the trailblazing vocal group LaBelle—they of “Lady Marmalade” fame—legendary singer Patti LaBelle embarked on a solo career that would earn her the nickname “the Godmother of Soul.”
• The Philadelphia native began singing in church at age 14. She later became the lead singer of Patti LaBelle & The Bluebelles. The group scored Top 40 hits with 1963’s “Down the Aisle (The Wedding Song)” and 1964’s “You’ll Never Walk Alone.”
• On the advice of manager Vicki Wickham, the group (now a trio) shortened its name to Labelle in the early ’70s and switched to an earthier, grittier sound informed by funk, soul, and gospel.
• LaBelle broke through with 1974’s Nightbirds. Their album features the classic single “Lady Marmalade,” which reached No. 1 on Billboard’s pop and R&B charts.
• Patti LaBelle released her self-titled solo debut album in 1977. She broke into the mainstream with the gold-certified 1983 album I’m in Love Again. The single “If Only You Knew” marked her first No. 1 on the Billboard R&B chart.
• LaBelle picked up a pair of Grammy nominations for her platinum-certified 1986 album Winner in You. The LP features the Michael McDonald duet “On My Own,” which reached No. 1 on the pop and R&B charts.
• She kicked off the ’90s with a recurring role as Dwayne Wayne’s mother on the sitcom A Different World, appearing in eight episodes between 1990 and 1993.
• The 1991 album Burnin’ earned LaBelle her first Grammy, for Best R&B Vocal Performance, Female. Her album 1998’s Live! One Night Only snagged her a second Grammy before the end of the decade.
• LaBelle was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2003.
• In 2017, LaBelle reached No. 2 on Billboard’s Traditional Jazz Albums chart with Bel Hommage, her first jazz album.
BORNMay 24, 1944