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Patti Labelle

Patti Labelle

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Semi-Pro ... Will Ferrell, Woody Harrelson, and Andre Benjamin star in this basketball... more info $6.95was $5.98 Buy Now

Also Known As: Patti La Belle Died:
Born: May 24, 1944 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA Profession: singer, actor

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

where her vocal prowess continued to astonish audiences. She also enjoyed a popular turn as an actress in the Broadway revival of "Your Armâ¿¿s Too Short to Box with God" opposite soul legend Al Green, though her performance was dogged by accusations of showboating, a criticism she would endure throughout her career.Her recording career received a boost with a 1983 Grammy nomination for the Top 20 single "The Best is Yet to Come." A year later, she returned to the top of the R&B charts with 1984â¿¿s "If You Only Knew," the same year she made a strong film debut in "A Soldierâ¿¿s Story." LaBelleâ¿¿s turn as blues singer Big Mary led to an offer from director Steven Spielberg to play Shug Avery in his 1985 film version of "The Color Purple." She refused the part based on sexual content, but later regretted her decision after seeing Margaret Avery win an Oscar for her turn in the role. But LaBelle quickly bounced back with the singles "New Attitude" and "Stir It Up," which helped to make the "Beverly Hills Cop" (1984) soundtrack a bestseller. "New Attitude" shot to No. 17 on the singles chart, and served as her re-introduction to a pop audience that largely knew her only as the lead voice on "Lady...

where her vocal prowess continued to astonish audiences. She also enjoyed a popular turn as an actress in the Broadway revival of "Your Armâ¿¿s Too Short to Box with God" opposite soul legend Al Green, though her performance was dogged by accusations of showboating, a criticism she would endure throughout her career.

Her recording career received a boost with a 1983 Grammy nomination for the Top 20 single "The Best is Yet to Come." A year later, she returned to the top of the R&B charts with 1984â¿¿s "If You Only Knew," the same year she made a strong film debut in "A Soldierâ¿¿s Story." LaBelleâ¿¿s turn as blues singer Big Mary led to an offer from director Steven Spielberg to play Shug Avery in his 1985 film version of "The Color Purple." She refused the part based on sexual content, but later regretted her decision after seeing Margaret Avery win an Oscar for her turn in the role. But LaBelle quickly bounced back with the singles "New Attitude" and "Stir It Up," which helped to make the "Beverly Hills Cop" (1984) soundtrack a bestseller. "New Attitude" shot to No. 17 on the singles chart, and served as her re-introduction to a pop audience that largely knew her only as the lead voice on "Lady Marmalade."

A batch of critical bad press over perceived grandstanding â¿¿ when she would hit the highest of notes, leaving her singing partners in the dust â¿¿ on both "Motown Returns to the Apollo" (NBC, 1985) and at the Live Aid concert in 1985 were quickly overshadowed by the success of her eighth solo album, The Winner in You. Its polished lead single, "On My Own," which featured former Doobie Brothers member Michael McDonald more than keeping up with his duet partner, gave Labelle her first No. 1 single since "Marmalade," and preceded a string of well-received solo efforts in the late 1980s and early 1990s, including 1991â¿¿s Burnin', which won a Grammy for Best Female R&B Vocal Performance.

LaBelle soon devoted her attention to her acting career, which was focused primarily on television series like "A Different Word" (NBC, 1987-1993). She took top billing for her own series, "Out All Night" (NBC, 1992), but the series, co-produced by Quincy Jones, failed to last a full season. After performing the halftime show at the 1993 Super Bowl, LaBelle returned to music, scoring gold albums with 1994â¿¿s Gems and 1997â¿¿s Flame, as well as a second Grammy for her 1998 live album One Night Only!. Following a much-publicized divorce from her husband and manager, Armstead Edwards, she stayed away from the spotlight until 2004, when she released the Top 20 album When A Woman Loves for her new label, Def Soul Classics. However, she fell out of favor with the label in 2006 following a public dispute with label chief Antonio "L.A." Reid, and moved to Bungalo for The Gospel According to Patti LaBelle, which topped the gospel charts in 2006.

Two years later, LaBelle reunited with Sarah Dash and Nona Hendryx for Back to Now (2008), the first new Labelle record in over four decades. It broke the Top 50 on the Billboard albums chart and featured a take on Cole Porterâ¿¿s "Miss Otis Regrets" that was originally recorded in 1971. She released another solo album, Miss Pattiâ¿¿s Christmas, in 2008. For much of the early new millennium, Labelle divided her time between music and a variety of side projects, including a lifestyle show, "Livinâ¿¿ It Up with Patti LaBelle" (TV-One, 2003-06), numerous cookbooks, and fashion accessories. In 2010, she joined the cast of the award-winning Broadway musical "Fela!" and remained with the show until the end of its run in 2011. That same year, she earned headlines for her Lifetime Achievement Award from the BET Awards, as well as an appearance at a 9/11 tribute, where she stepped away from her microphone during a performance of "Two Steps Away" yet continued to be heard by the crowd, which included President Barack Obama. These achievements were somewhat dampened by press reports of a scuffle between LaBelleâ¿¿s bodyguards and a West Point cadet at a Houston airport. Later that same year, a New York woman filed a lawsuit against LaBelle for reportedly hurling water and insults at her and her child over a verbal altercation in an apartment lobby.

By Paul Gaitaver the Rainbow." The following year, Cindy Birdsong, who had been serving as a temporary replacement for Florence Ballard in The Supremes, left the Blue Belles to join the Motown act on a fulltime basis. However, both groups soon found their girl group sound at odds with the rising popularity of funkier female vocalists like Aretha Franklin. While The Supremes managed to keep a foothold on the charts until the end of the decade, the Blue Belles were reduced to working the chitlin circuit of black clubs in the South and Midwest until 1970, when they were dropped from the Atlantic roster. Shortly thereafter, longtime manager Bernard Montague would follow suit to devote his attention to rising soul acts like the Delfonics.

On the advice of one of their admirers, British blue-eyed soul diva Dusty Springfield, the Blue Belles signed with her manager, Vicki Wickham, who also produced the popular U.K. variety series "Ready Steady Go!" (ITV, 1963-66). She suggested a series of radical changes for the group, including a name change to the simpler, more direct Labelle and a sound that equally embraced R&B and rock and roll. Despite Patti LaBelleâ¿¿s protestations, the group tested out their new sound in London before returning to the United States in 1971. They soon signed with Track Records, a subsidiary of Warner Bros., and landed a prized opening slot for The Who. The formidable rock groupâ¿¿s manager, Kit Lambert, later produced their eponymous debut album (1971), which immediately set them apart from their soul and funk peers with full-bodied R&B takes on the Rolling Stonesâ¿¿ "Wild Horses" and Carole Kingâ¿¿s "Youâ¿¿ve Got a Friend." They were soon hired by producers Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff to back folk singer Laura Nyro on her 1971 album Gonna Take a Miracle and subsequent tours.

LaBelleâ¿¿s own recording career endured some growing pains in the early 1970s. Their stage act began to take on a futuristic look inspired in part by the glam fashions of David Bowie and Marc Bolan. Their song choices also grew bolder, including covers of The Whoâ¿¿s "Wonâ¿¿t Get Fooled Again" and a take on Thunderclap Newmanâ¿¿s "Something in the Air" that segued into Gil Scott-Heronâ¿¿s fiery "The Revolution Will Not Be Televised." Despite these eye-catching moments, the group failed to sell many records. But an opening slot on a 1974 tour with the Rolling Stones and a label switch to Epic improved their fortunes.

By 1974, the group teamed with veteran New Orleans producer Allen Toussaint to record Nightbirds, which featured their provocative single "Lady Marmalade," a song they introduced at their history-making appearance at the Metropolitan Opera House in New York. The song hit the top of the Billboard Hot 100, and established them as a vital link in the funk and disco movement of the period. Unfortunately, Labelle was unable to reproduce the success of Nightbirds with subsequent releases. Hendryx suffered a nervous breakdown on stage during a 1976 tour, prompting Patti LaBelle to urge her bandmates to bring the group to an end in order to preserve their friendships and health. Labelle called it quits in 1977, after which all three members launched their solo careers.

Patti LaBelleâ¿¿s solo career followed a pattern similar to that of her tenure in Labelle. She received critical praise for her self-titled solo debut in 1977, but none of the albums three singles, including its best-known song, "You Are My Friend," broke into the Hot 100. After three subsequent flops between 1978 and 1980, she moved to the Philadelphia International label, which failed to improve her fortunes. LaBelle found greater success as a live act,

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Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

1.
2.
 Cover (2008)
3.
 Semi-Pro (2008)
4.
 Idlewild (2006)
7.
 Parker Kane (1990) Cartier
8.
 Sing (1989) Mrs Devere
9.
 Fire And Rain (1989) Lucille Jacobson
10.
 Unnatural Causes (1986) Jeanette
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Companions close complete companion listing

husband:
Armistead Edwards. Married in 1969.

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