Authentic R&B veterans who revolutionize the genre command respect and staying power. One notable soulful maven whose indelible talent has earned her a rightful place among rhythm and blues royalty is the incomparable Patti LaBelle
Even as the melodic doyen of the legendary 60's quartet, Patti LaBelle & the Bluebelles, and the retro 70's trio, LaBelle -- Patti's kinetic performances and signature, four-octave instrument served as the group's torch. For more than 40 years in the music business, the two-time Grammy-winning legend continues to solidify herself as a musical pioneer.
Never resting on her laurels, Patti embarked on a new genesis with the release of her introspective masterpiece, Timeless Journey, in May 2004 and her exquisite collection of remakes, Classic Moments, in June 2005.
Although she's widely-known for classic moonstruck ballads such as the duet "On My Own" with Michael McDonald, "If Only You Knew," "You Are My Friend," and "If You Asked Me To," her diverse musical tastes have only enhanced her versatility. Today, Patti continues to receive a respectful nod from the new litter of pop-pound.
Pop princesses Christina Aguilera, Missy Elliott, Pink, Mya and raptress Lil' Kim paid homage to the soulful diva with a hip-hop infused rendition of the 1973 hit, "Lady Marmalade," which appeared on the soundtrack for the Academy Award winning silver screen musical Moulin Rouge. In 2003, DMX enlisted Patti's renowned pipes to season his spiritual tribute "Thank You" and other Hip-Hop aficionados such as Kanye West ("Roses"), Outkast ("Ghettomusick") and Wyclef Jean ("Celebrate") have also recruited Patti to grace their tracks.
While Patti's celebrated career has been more than laudable, she has also endured and survived personal strife. Within a 10-year period, she lost her mother, three sisters and best friend to diabetes and cancer. However, Patti persevered and refused to be hindered by sorrow and live her dreams -- something she knows her family and friends wanted her to do.
As a mother, author, actress, activist, the Philadelphia-native born Patricia Holte has transcended the music arena. A devoted mother of four sons and one daughter (one biological son, four adopted children of her late sisters), four rottweilers and two cane corsos, Patti is a natural born nurturer. As an author, she's written four best-sellers including "Don't Block the Blessings: Revelations of a Lifetime," "Patti LaBelle's Lite Cuisine," "LaBelle Cuisine" and "Patti's Pearls."
Finally, as an actress, she's starred in her own sitcom-series, "Out All Night", and numerous television shows and specials. Patti launched a lifestyle show, "Living It Up With Patti LaBelle", on the TV One Network in 2004 and has expanded her horizons into fashion with Patti LaBelle Clothing, available on HSN and at HSN.com.
Also a diabetic, Patti has been proactive in the fight against the very disease that claimed her dear mother's life. She serves as a spokeswoman for the National Medical Association that administers a scholarship in her name, the National Minority AIDS Council's "Live Long, Sugar" campaign and the American Diabetes Association.
Patti also serves on the Boards of the National Alzheimer Association and the National Cancer Institute and the University of Miami's prestigious Sylvestri Comprehensive Care Center dedicated a special research laboratory in her honor for her work on behalf of cancer awareness. In addition, Patti has three Honorary Doctorate Degrees from Cambridge University, Drexel University and the Berklee School of Music, among a host of other accolades.
Undoubtedly, Patti's exemplary and multifaceted career has enriched the music world and inspired intangible lives in song and philanthropy.