Patti LaBelle, Soul Singer, Cooking Extraordinaire


In the early sixties, Patti LaBelle introduced herself to audiences, impressing them with her smooth and silky vocals. Instantly, all the songs she sang solo or with her group became instant hits, marking a significant achievement in her life. Before there was a Destiny’s Child or TLC, there was Patti LaBelle and the Bluebelles.

Her group paved the way for all the girl bands you see today, as they were the first ever African-American music group to be featured on the cover of the Rolling Stone Magazine. Although the group split, LaBelle’s star hasn’t stopped shining.

Each song she released as a solo artist became an instant hit, her album went to number one, and she won two Grammys. She even ventured into acting and was nominated for an Emmy and won an NAACP award for her role in Why I Wore Lipstick to My Mastectomy.

Music and acting weren’t the only things she excelled at. Patti LaBelle had another  talent in her repertoire that not many people were aware of — Cooking. Soon, her cooking talents will be on everyone’s TV screen. She is coming out with her own cooking show called Patti LaBelle’s Place. In her interview with Rolling Stone Magazine, she talked about her cooking show, her famous friends, and illustrious career. Here is what the living legend had to say:

“[…] all through my life, I was cooking, so the show was inevitable”

Her passion for cooking began at a young age. She used love to go into the pantry and the grocery store to buy ingredients to come up with her own recipes for barbecue sauces, hot sauces, and ketchup. Since both her parents loved to cook, she caught the bug from them. She patti-lebelle-2believes that she is a better cook than a singer, but her fans would disagree, as whatever Patti LaBelle does is extraordinary.

“I don’t sing when I’m cooking, that’s for sure.”

Viewers hoping to hear her beautiful vocals while she cooks will be sad to know that Ms. LaBelle doesn’t mix cooking with singing. Perhaps, viewers may get to hear a few notes here and there so don’t lose hope.

“I tried to bribe Whoopi Goldberg into eating kale, because she doesn’t eat any vegetables.”

Patti LaBelle decided to coax her friend Whoopi Goldberg into eating green vegetables, specifically kale, which is all the rage in Hollywood. Goldberg tasted kale only because LaBelle cooked them. To Goldberg’s surprise, she loved them. Why was LaBelle not surprised? She already knew that Goldberg would love it because whatever she cooks turns out finger lickin’ good. What will she make her friend the next time she comes around? It will be either string beans or mozzarella cheese and garlic.

“I […] heard Judy Garland sing ‘Somewhere over the Rainbow’, and we have the same sort of energy […].”

In 1966, Patti LaBelle did a cover of “Somewhere over the Rainbow,” by Judy Garland. The meaning behind the song touched Labelle deeply. It sent a positive message to people, telling them not to give up on their dreams and goal, but keep trying, and one day, you will succeed. She can’t sing the song without crying.

“[…] I didn’t know [Lady Marmalade] was about a hooker.”

The best and by far, funniest part of her interview with the magazine was that she didn’t know what the lyrics meant in French when she recorded the song in 1975. The lyric “Voulez-vous coucher avec mo ice soir” actually means, “Will you sleep with me tonight?” When Christina Aguilera, Mya, Missy Elliot, Lil Kim, and Pink did a cover of her song in 2001, she was thrilled and honored. Plus, she performed the song at the Grammy’s with them.

“Allen Toussaint is one of the nicest […] producers, who […] never raises his voice, but just loved the way Labelle recorded.”

Allen Toussaint produced her album Nightbirds and LaBelle has only praise for the producer. He appreciated the fact that they could get a song right in just two takes. “Lady Marmalade” was the first song they recorded with all of them knowing that it would do extremely well on the charts, and they were right. If she got a chance to work with him again, she would justlove it.

Be sure to catch the new Queen of Cooking every Sunday.

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