In his latest "Soul's Survivors" piece, in honor of Black Music Month, NY1's Dean Meminger spoke with soulful songbird Patti Labelle.
The fans are definitely still loving Patti Labelle. Her music has been called everything from pop, to R&B and soul, disco and even rock.
Q: How would you classify your music?
A: I would like to be just in music, period. You can give it any title you want whenever I sing. I'm just happy to still be here after 50 years in show business and being 69 years young. So I am just happy to be here."
Patti started her career in the late '50s and early '60s in her native Philadelphia. Eventually, that unmistakable high pitched voice would take her around the world.
Over the years, her style and performances on stage have been over the top. In the mid-1970s, the hit "Lady Marmalade" had lots of people singing the seductive French lines.
I caught up with Patti Labelle recently right before she hit the Apollo Theater stage.
Q: What's your key to success and longevity?
A: Well, I don't really know. I just hope that it's being honest with your fans and friends, and, oh gosh, always putting on a 100 percent show if you can. And when you're taking those people money, you can, because tickets aren't cheap.
Labelle said she working on some new music, but she always has other projects cooking.
A: I have a food line, bedding, and we do stuff with shoes and purses. I am just going to do it until I can't do it no more.
Q: And when is that? At any point, do you say, "You know what? I need to slow down."
A: It's whenever, it's whenever. God has blessed me, so I'm not taking anything for granted. I'm just here. Thank God, I'm here.
Q: What's the number one song for you, in your heart, that you have recorded?
A: Oh my goodness, that's hard. Maybe "You Are My Friend."
Q: People sometimes use that term, "diva." Is that a good term for you or do you like that term or not?
A: Just call me Patti.
Q: Just Patti?
A: That's it.