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Patti Labelle

Real name: Patricia Louise Holt
Birthdate: N/A
Status: Single

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Born the fourth of five children including three sisters and a brother, Patti began singing at the age of 14 in church. A shy girl, Patti had a voice of a torch diva. A school teacher advised her to start a singing group.

In 1970, Patti and the Bluebelles moved to England where they met promoter Vicki Wickham, formerly Janis Joplin's promoter. The next year when the girls returned to America, they came out with a different name - simply Labelle - and a new attitude, vocal style, and a new wardrobe. The former "Apollo Sweethearts" were now women. Wearing casual clothing and African adornments, Labelle often sung of racism, sexism and politics. Their sound was not taken to heart by consumers.

In 1974, however, learning of a cult following, the women changed their looks again now adorning space-like, rockish and uniforms, they began to sing about sex, space, politics, and things that many funk and rock bands were singing about at the time -- but with an exception; no female groups had dared up until now to broach this type of controversial material. Their following had grown so much that in October of that year, they were the first African-American contemporary act to perform at the Metropolitan Opera House. That December, they released their greatest record, Nightbirds, featuring their breakout hit, "Lady Marmalade," which hit #1 on the Hot 100 in 1975, helping Nightbirds to go gold. It was as far as they got as success couldn't ring twice, although their subsequent albums, Phoenix and Chameleon were hailed by music critics as experimental and groundbreaking.

In 1991, Patti released the critically-acclaimed, Gold selling Burnin' album, which helped Patti win her first Grammy Award for Best R&B Female Vocal Performance. "Burnin'" featured the hits, "Somebody Loves You Baby (You Know Who It Is)", "When You've Been Blessed (Feels Like Heaven)" and "Feels Like Another One." That album is also notable because it includes the first Labelle reunion recording (with Sarah Dash and Nona Hendryx on the track "Release Yourself") That success continued onto subsequent albums like 1994's Gems (featuring the hit, "The Right Kinda Lover"), 1997's Flame (featuring the hit, "When You Talk About Love"), and 1998's Live One Night Only (which won her a second Grammy).

Patti made an appearance on celebrity duets where she performed 3 songs: "Lady Marmalade," "Over the Rainbow" with Jai Rodriguez, and "On My Own" with show host Wayne Brady.

November 2006 Patti paid tribute to Dusty Springfield, singing a tribute to her at the UK Music Hall of Fame at Alexandra Palace, London, England.

On May 5, 2007, Patti appeared and sang at the University of Southern Mississippi, Hattieburg MS in a ceremony honoring Mrs. Tena Clark.

According to a message Ms. Labelle posted on her official website she has currently re-signed with Def Jam after being dropped by L.A. Reid in 2005. He decided he made a mistake and offered her another deal in which she took a few months to decide upon and eventually accepted. She will be in the studio recording for the Labelle reunion and will also release a Christmas CD this fall produced by Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis and James "Big Jim" Wright. The album will be released October 9th 2007 and will feature Mariah Carey and a few other artists and is titled "Ms. Patti's Christmas".


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