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Patti Labelle

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NEWS
October 8, 1991 | By Sam Wood, Special to The Inquirer
If there's a more exuberant performer than Patti LaBelle, I'd like to know that person's name. Sunday night at Valley Forge Music Fair, LaBelle, 47, put on a show with more energy, verve and endearing grace than other superstars half her age. She's earned her title as America's Soul Sweetheart. From the funky stomp "Be Yourself," which opened the second of her two sold-out shows, to the show-closing gospel showcase "When You've Been Blessed (Feels Like Heaven)," LaBelle's voice was the aural equivalent of sheer joy - sometimes swooping and wailing like a fire siren, other times sultry and caressing with a pillow-talk purr.
NEWS
February 28, 1991 | By William B. Collins, Inquirer Theater Critic
In the concluding minutes of The House of Flowers, Patti LaBelle sashays around the Valley Forge Music Fair's circus-ring stage in an outfit that makes her look like the ultimate black-and-white ice-cream soda. Almost under her breath, she confides, "Personally, I think my pollen is all used up. " She thereupon launches into a rendition of "A Sleepin' Bee" that fairly blows the roof off the place. Used up, indeed. The woman has plenty of everything she needs. The production of the musical about rival brothels on a West Indian island is a gorgeous swatch of fantasy composed of equal parts riotously fanciful costumes, hot dancing and hotter singing, with a little voodoo tossed into the pot for seasoning.
ENTERTAINMENT
October 1, 1987 | By JONATHAN TAKIFF, Daily News Staff Writer
As teenagers, Patricia Holt and her friend Cindy Birdsong used to listen to records of girl groups and think, "Hey we could do that," Holt recalls. "So we got together with this high school group called the Ordettes. We'd sing at parties, things like that - around '59 or so. The other girls in the Ordettes weren't serious about music. Anyway, in about '60 a promoter named Bernard Montague took two girls from the Del Capris, another local group - that was Sarah Dash and Nona Hendryx - and we formed a new group.
NEWS
June 10, 1994 | by Chuck Arnold, Daily News Staff Writer
GEMS Patti LaBelle / MCA The basic problem with any Patti LaBelle album is that it's never as good as a Patti LaBelle show. Miss Patti just does not feel it from studio engineers and computer programming the way she does from concert fans and a live band. On her new album, "Gems," Patti sounds downright bored, as if she's just going through the motions of recording so she can get back on the road and perform. Blame it mostly on material that doesn't measure up to her big voice and image - it's all way too blah for even Patti to get fired up. That's a shame because, at 50, our homegirl is far from played out and deserves much better than this mellowed-out elevator music.
ENTERTAINMENT
March 10, 1991 | By Jonathan Storm, Inquirer Television Critic
If you've got a few hundred extra bucks, go out and buy one of those stereo TVs with the big speakers and get it hooked up by 7 tonight. All the song and spirit in Going Home to Gospel, which starts then on Channel 12, just can't squeeze through the little 3-inch tweeter that's built into most televisions. But what does come through is inspirational. Even the Masterpiece Theater crowd will get the feeling from this hour, starring Patti LaBelle, one of Philadelphia's treasures, and featuring a host of gospel lights.
NEWS
August 7, 1989 | By Jack Lloyd, Inquirer Staff Writer
One of these days Patti LaBelle is going to slow down. It has to happen, but don't bet on it happening soon. LaBelle, who completed a three-day engagement at the TropWorld Casino & Entertainment Resort last night, has been punching out her songs with jackhammer force and boundless energy since 1961, when she surfaced fronting a group named the Bluebells. And those who recall the early days of her career maintain that the LaBelle dynamics are more potent now than then. For LaBelle, there is no such thing as an "easy-listening" song.
ENTERTAINMENT
February 10, 1987 | By JONATHAN TAKIFF, Daily News Staff Writer
"It's crazy up there. There must be 50 people packed into a couple of small rooms," warned the Palace Hotel bellhop ushering yet another press contingent up to the Princess Grace suite. That's where Philly's sweetest songbird, Patti LaBelle, would be found sweating over a hot stove - preparing a gourmet lunch of fried shrimp, pasta, and Stringbeans LaBelle for the press and television news corps. On the surface, the event seemed just a public relations stunt - a photo opportunity drawing attention to Patti's three-week Forrest Theater engagement dubbed "There's No Place Like Home," which opens tonight.
ENTERTAINMENT
November 21, 2010 | By Elizabeth Wellington, Inquirer Staff Writer
NEW YORK - It's not until halfway through the first act of the musical Fela! that we get a peek at its newest addition, Philadelphia singer Patti LaBelle. And then we're not even really sure it's her. But there's something familiar about the flickering image projected on a screen of a woman with her hair wrapped in a gele . Then we hear the soul-stirring signature moan. And it becomes clear. Mmm-hmm, that's Patti. In September, LaBelle, 66, joined the cast of Fela!
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FOOD
January 22, 2016
Patti cakes Patti LaBelle's latest hit? Her sweet potato pie, which became a viral sensation after a fan uploaded a video of himself enjoying the dessert and singing his satisfaction. Now, the local superstar is back with a second, and third, helping: vanilla Bundt cake with vanilla icing, and a three-layer caramel cake with buttercream filling and caramel glaze. Both are manufactured for mass appeal but manage to hit the high notes. - Samantha Melamed Patti LaBelle Premium Caramel Cake, $13.94 at Walmart.
NEWS
November 25, 2015 | Jenny DeHuff, Daily News
Thanksgiving this year with Patti LaBelle promises to be quite the party. Sharing the table at Patti's Wynnewood home will be none other than the Los Angeles YouTube blogger known as James Wright Chanel , whose ode to Patti's Pies, the sweet-potato pie she's selling exclusively at Walmart, have had the desserts flying off store shelves. The video had more than 3.2 million views as of yesterday. "My new friend James Wright took this fierce video and it took my pie over the top, and people are losing their minds over this pie," the famed local songstress told Fox 29. Also at Patti's table will be Ahmir "Questlove" Thompson , of the Roots , who she said has been ribbing her for years about not inviting him over to sample her cooking.
ENTERTAINMENT
November 24, 2015 | Mister Mann Frisby, for the Philadelphia Inquirer
Walmart is doing the math and by all indications the square root of pie is the correct answer. Sweet potato pie , that is. Thanks to Philly's own songbird Patti LaBelle and one of her biggest fans, the retail giant is nearly sold out of the popular holiday dessert, which bears her name. The Walmart in Cheltenham even posted multiple signs at its entrance telling shoppers the pies were sold out. A sinfully delicious frenzy has been created by way of nutmeg, butter, sugar and a hilarious viral Internet video.
ENTERTAINMENT
November 18, 2015 | Jenice Armstrong, Daily News
JENNIFER Braxton was on the hunt for one of those Patti LaBelle's sweet-potato pies. So, on Saturday, after getting off work at 10 p.m., she drove to the Walmart Supercenter on Byberry Road. She walked all around the store but couldn't find one. The next day, she called and an employee answered, "Thank you for calling Walmart. We're out of pies. How may I help you?" "I have a company potluck coming on Friday and I said I would bring Patti pies," she explained to me later via Facebook.
NEWS
August 23, 2015 | By Robert Moran, Inquirer Staff Writer
Daniel G. Sembello, who won a Grammy Award for his contribution to the soundtrack of Beverly Hills Cop , drowned in the Schuylkill last weekend, authorities said Friday. Mr. Sembello, 52, of Ardmore, disappeared while swimming late Saturday afternoon near the Venice Island Performing Arts and Recreation Center, police said. His body was recovered that evening. Stevie Wonder paid tribute to Sembello during his Monday concert at Dilworth Park, calling him "a great songwriter and a great human being.
NEWS
July 12, 2015 | By A.D. Amorosi, For The Inquirer
If it were anyone else taking on the winds, rain, and lightning of Thursday night for an outdoors show, the first of the summer season at Dell Music Center, it would have been a washout. This, however, was Patti LaBelle, Philadelphia's first lady of R&B, who is still going strong at 71, 52 years into her career. The opening act was supposed to be local trombonist Jeff Bradshaw's large band, featuring Najee and Kenny Lattimore, but they did not play. LaBelle came on early at 9:45 p.m. and proceeded to warm the chilly audience with a piercing, nuanced voice that raged and seduced.
NEWS
June 19, 2015 | By Bill Chenevert, For The Inquirer
Bette Midler reminded nearly 10,000 fans of her enduring power and charisma on Tuesday night at the Wells Fargo Center, putting ona muscular show filled with palpable emotion, wise-cracking jokes, and charming nods to Philadelphia. Midler opened with her tour's namesake "Divine Intervention," before jumping into "I Look Good," a classic full of characteristic sass.Midler quipped that she's like vodka: ageless, odorless, and tasteless. Her famed dancers, the Harlettes, were fabulous and essential to the performance, not just as backup, but as gossip girls and playmates.
ENTERTAINMENT
May 20, 2015 | By Tirdad Derakhshani, Inquirer Staff Writer
B.B. King going back home Riley B. "B.B. " King , who died Thursday at 89, will be laid to rest in his hometown of Indianola, Tenn. He will be buried on the grounds of the B.B. King Museum and Delta Interpretive Center, officials announced Monday. The famed bluesman will be honored at a public memorial Friday in Las Vegas, followed by a private memorial service on Saturday. Info: www.bbkingmuseum.org .   POTUS' very first tweet "Hello, Twitter! It's Barack ," read a mysterious tweet sent Monday from the handle @POTUS . "Really!
ENTERTAINMENT
March 26, 2015 | Inquirer Staff
                        Philly's Riley bails from 'The Voice' Philly's reality-TV light was snuffed a bit on Monday night. Famed street singer Anthony Riley , who could be heard belting old soul tunes in Rittenhouse Square, among other environs, has left NBC's The Voice , according to team captain Pharrell . The be-hatted one announced that Riley was leaving the show for personal reasons? During auditions, Riley's golden pipes made all four judges - Christina Aguilera , Blake Shelton and Adam Levine , in addition to the aforementioned "Happy" man - turn their chairs in record time.
NEWS
March 16, 2015 | By Mister Mann Frisby, For The Inquirer
For more than 50 years, Patti LaBelle, the pride of Southwest Philadelphia, has owned center stage, effortlessly blowing her audiences away with vocal highs in "New Attitude" and "Over the Rainbow" and sultry, soul-stirring lows in "Little Girls" and "You Are My Friend. " But starting Monday at 8 p.m., the soul-music icon will embark on a new endeavor that, she admits, has her shaking in her stilettos. LaBelle will compete in the 20th season of ABC's hit show Dancing With the Stars . Her partner, Artem Chigvintsev, might have a hard time keeping up with LaBelle.
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