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Patti LaBelle

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Bio

Soul diva Patti LaBelle enjoyed one of the longest-lived careers in contemporary music, notching hits in a variety of sounds ranging from girl group pop to space-age funk to lush ballads. Born Patricia Holt in Philadelphia on May 24, 1944, she grew up singing in a local Baptist choir, and in 1960 teamed with friend Cindy Birdsong to form a group called the Ordettes. A year later, following the additions of vocalists Nona Hendryx and Sarah Dash, the group was rechristened the Blue Belles; with producer Bobby Martin at helm, they scored a Top 20 pop and R&B hit in 1962 with the single "I Sold My Heart to the Junkman," subsequently hitting the charts in 1964 with renditions of "Danny Boy" and "You'll Never Walk Alone." In 1965, the quartet -- now known as Patti LaBelle & the Bluebelles -- signed to Atlantic, where they earned a minor hit with their version of the standard "Somewhere Over the Rainbow." The group's Atlantic tenure was largely disappointing, however, and in 1967 Birdsong replaced Florence Ballard in the Supremes. The remaining trio toured the so-called "chitlin circuit" for the remainder of the decade before signing on with British manager Vicki Wickham in 1970; Wickham renamed the group simply LaBelle and pushed their music in a funkier, rock-oriented direction, and in the wake of their self-titled 1971 Warner Bros. debut they even toured with the Who. (The trio also collaborated with Laura Nyro on her superb R&B-influenced album Gonna Take a Miracle.) By 1973, LaBelle had gone glam, taking the stage in wildly theatrical, futuristic costumes; a year later they became the first African-American act ever to appear at New York's Metropolitan Opera House, a landmark performance that also introduced their lone chart-topping single, the Allen Toussaint-produced classic "Lady Marmalade." However, after two more albums -- 1975's Phoenix and the following year's Chameleon -- LaBelle disbanded, and its namesake mounted a solo career, issuing her eponymous debut in 1977. In addition to subsequent releases including 1979's It's Alright with Me and 1980's Released, LaBelle also turned to acting, co-starring in a 1982 Broadway revival of Your Arms to Short to Box with God. Upon signing with the Philadephia International label, LaBelle scored a number one R&B hit with "If You Only Knew," from 1983's I'm in Love Again. Two years later, she reached the pop Top 20 with her Beverly Hills Cop soundtrack contribution "New Attitude." Her subsequent MCA debut, 1986's The Winner in You, went platinum on the strength of the Burt Bacharach-penned "On My Own," a duet with Michael McDonald, while the follow-up, 1989's Be Yourself, featured a pair of cuts written by Prince. Released in 1991, Burnin' earned a Grammy for Best Female R&B Performance. LaBelle recorded less and less frequently in the years to follow, in 1995 publishing her autobiography, Don't Block the Blessings: Revelations of a Lifetime. She returned five years later to release When a Woman Loves and then signed to Def Soul for 2004's Timeless Journey and 2005's all-covers Classic Moments. In 2007 the holiday album Miss Patti's Christmas appeared, while 2008 saw the release of Live in Washington D.C., a live album recorded in 1982. ~ Jason Ankeny
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Albums by
Patti LaBelle

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    10 songs

    On Air

    Miss Patti's Christmas

    13 songs

    On Air

    Classic Moments

    13 songs

    On Air

    Timeless Journey

    11 songs

    On Air

    Be Yourself

    12 songs

    On Air

    This Christmas

    12 songs

    On Air

    When a Woman Loves

    14 songs

    On Air

    Flame

    12 songs

    On Air

    Gems

    12 songs

    On Air

    Burnin'

    10 songs

    On Air

    Winner in You

    9 songs

    On Air

    The Spirit's in It

    8 songs

    On Air

    I'm in Love Again

    9 songs

    On Air

    Patti LaBelle

    8 songs

    On Air

    Patti

    9 songs

    On Air

    It's Alright with Me

    3 songs

    On Air

    New Day

    5 songs

    On Air

    New Day

    25 songs

    On Air

    Anthology

    1 song

    On Air

    Lady Marmalade

    1 song

    On Air

    Somewhere over the Rainbow

    3 songs

    On Air

    Gotta Go Solo

    1 song

    On Air

    Gotta Go Solo

    3 songs

    On Air

    Way Up There

    30 songs

    On Air

    The Essential Patti LaBelle

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Top Songs by
Patti LaBelle

  1.   Song
    Popularity
  2.   On My Own by Michael McDonald
  3.   New Attitude
  4.   If Only You Knew
  5.   Somebody Loves You Baby (You Know Who It Is)
  6.   Love, Need and Want You
  7.   Stir It Up
  8.   Lady Marmalade
  9.   I Sold My Heart to the Junkman
  10.   If You Asked Me To
  11.   When You've Been Blessed (Feels Like Heaven)
  12.   You Are My Friend
  13.   Walk Around Heaven
  14.   Kiss Away the Pain
  15.   The Best Is Yet to Come
  16.   Every Year, Every Christmas
  17.   Christmas Jam
  18.   Holidays Mean More to Me
  19.   Do You Hear What I Hear?
  20.   It's Going to Be a Merry Christmas
  21.   Nativity
  22.   'Twas Love
  23.   Jesus, Oh What a Wonderful Child
  24.   O Holy Night
  25.   Nothing Could Be Better
  26. See All Songs

Stations & Shows Featuring
Patti LaBelle

    On Air

    33 Greatest All-American Divas

    On Air

    A Very Soulful Christmas

    On Air

    Billy Currington: I Am The DJ

    On Air

    Sam Smith: DNA

    On Air

    Smooth Jazz

    On Air

    Classic Soul

    On Air

    Beyoncé: DNA

    On Air

    '80s #1 Hits

    On Air

    Smooth Jams

    On Air

    Nothing But Love Songs

    On Air

    '80s Hits

    On Air

    Adult R&B

    On Air

    Classic Soft Hits

    On Air

    Janet Jackson: DNA

    On Air

    Vocal Hits

    On Air

    '60s Deep Dive


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Patti LaBelle

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