ABOVE PHOTO: Patti proudly displays her street sign, as Councilman Kenyatta Johnson looks on. (Photo: K-Len Anderson)
Patti LaBelle now has her very own street in her hometown of Philadelphia, and the legendary soul singer christened it with a song.
A stretch of Broad Street was renamed “Patti LaBelle Way” during a ceremony last Tuesday.
“The Godmother of Soul” thanked the throngs of fans who clogged the intersection and treated them to an impromptu rendition of her hit “Love, Need and Want You.”
Brandishing one of the new street signs, the popular singer,entrepreneur and actress told onlookers she felt blessed and spoke about how her parents used to walk along this stretch of road.
According to Wikipedia, LaBelle, who was born Patricia Louise Holte, May 24, 1944 began her career in the early 1960s as lead singer and front woman of the vocal group, Patti LaBelle and the Bluebelles. Following the group’s name change to LaBelle in the early 1970s, they released the iconic disco song “Lady Marmalade” and the group later became the first African-American vocal group to land on the cover of Rolling Stone magazine.
After the group split in 1976, LaBelle began a successful solo career, starting with her critically acclaimed debut album, which included the career-defining song, “You Are My Friend.” LaBelle became a mainstream solo star in 1984 following the success of the singles, “If Only You Knew,” “New Attitude” and “Stir It Up,” with the latter two crossing over to pop audiences and becoming radio staples.
Less than two years later, in 1986, LaBelle scored with the number-one album, Winner in You and the number-one duet single, “On My Own”, with Michael McDonald. LaBelle eventually won a 1992 Grammy for Best Female R&B Vocal Performance for her 1991 album, “Burnin’”, followed by a second Grammy win for the live album, “Live! One Night Only”.
She reunited with her LaBelle band mates for the album, “Back to Now”, followed by a brief, well received promotional tour. LaBelle’s success has extended as an actress with a notable role in the film, ‘A Soldier’s Story’, and in TV shows such as “A Different World” and “American Horror Story: Freak Show”. In 1992, LaBelle starred in her own TV sitcom, “Out All Night”. A decade later, LaBelle hosted her own lifestyle TV show, “Living It Up with Patti LaBelle’ on TV One. In 2015, LaBelle took part in the dance competition, “Dancing with the Stars”.
In a career that has spanned 50 years, she has sold more than 50 million records worldwide. LaBelle has been inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame, the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and the Apollo Theater Hall of Fame. LaBelle was included in Rolling Stone on their list of 100 Greatest Singers.