If there’s one thing Patti Labelle doesn’t do, it’s hold her tongue.
While making a stop in Detroit, Michigan for a performance, the legendary vocal powerhouse sat down with Pridesource to talk about everything, including why she thinks she has a huge following from the gay community, and whether she considers herself to be a diva, like “all these little heifers who can’t sing:”
Patti on if she sees herself as one:
That word is used so loosely that I don’t even consider myself a diva. I always considered myself a woman who sings her heart out and who gives 120 percent. “Diva” is a word that I wouldn’t wanna call myself because it’s so loosely used. It’s not cute anymore.
On whether it has a negative connotation now:
Yeah, because all these little heifers who can’t sing are called divas! It doesn’t mean anything to me and probably to some of the other ladies who have been doing it for as long as I have: Gladys Knight, Aretha Franklin, Dionne Warwick. You know, I’m speaking for me – I don’t know if they like to be called divas – but I know I wouldn’t call them divas, because it’s not in good company.
On her big following from the gay community:
I’ve been in this business for maybe 51 years, and so I think 50 years ago. (Laughs) The first year I wasn’t sure, but the second year of performing I got this love – I mean, great love – from my gay fans. I always questioned, “Why do they love me? Why do they really, really give a damn about Patti LaBelle?” And I think it’s because I’m such a free spirit and such a drag queen, really, myself. The original drag queen.
Aside from coming for a couple singers’ wigs, the 69 year-old music veteran revealed that she’s working on a jazz album AND then a dance album. That will be interesting…