Top Picks: Patti LaBelle

Singer, actress, author, entrepreneur, woman extraordinaire Patti LaBelle turns 75 on May 24. Yes, I agree, she doesn’t look a day over 50!

LaBelle is a true virtuoso. Born Patricia Louise Holte, her journey as a recording artist has known few boundaries. Her acclaimed works feature a variety of genres, from gospel to soul, blues to Broadway with a heaping serving of R&B in between and a smattering of jazz. The awards bestowed on her are just as diverse, including Grammys, Emmys, BET awards and several NAACP awards, to name a few. She has been inducted into multiple Halls of Fame, including the Hollywood Wall of Fame.

Labelle began her career in the 1960s as the lead singer of the R&B group Patti LaBelle & the Bluebelles. The group enjoyed moderate success for a few years, releasing several albums including Over the Rainbow.

The group dissolved in the 1970s, and LaBelle launched her solo career soon after. Her first album was a critically acclaimed success, and LaBelle's fame began to skyrocket. She went on to release over 15 albums by the turn of the century, all with multiple No. 1 hit singles including Gems, The Spirit's in It, Timeless Journey and The Gospel According to Patti Labelle.

The Essential Patti Labelle features many of her greatest hits including "New Attitude," "Over the Rainbow" and the infamous duet with Michael McDonald, "On My Own."

LaBelle has not slowed down over the years. She continues to tour at major venues and has even started several business ventures. She's acted and performed in several movie, TV and Broadway blockbusters including Idlewild.

In 2017, she released Bel Hommage, her first album devoted entirely to jazz, featuring duets with prominent artists.

Not limiting herself to music, LaBelle has authored several books of wisdom and advice, including Don't Block the Blessings and Patti's Pearls.

And, if that’s not enough accomplishment, as a consummate cook and noted foodie, she has released several Southern-style cookbooks including LaBelle Cuisine, Desserts LaBelle and Recipes for the Good Life.

What's your favorite Patti LaBelle song?

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