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Patti LaBelle on her gay fans: “I’m still standing ’cause they loved me when other people tried not to”

Chris Azzopardi has done a terrific Q&A with the legend Patti Labelle for PrideSource. Here are some excerpts: Three years ago you told me you don’t call yourself a diva because “all these little heifers who can’t sing are called divas.” But then, after that interview, you did VH1′s “Divas Holiday: Unsilent Night” last year and then “Daytime Divas” this year. Now, Ms. Patti, I feel like you’re sending me mixed signals here.

(Laughs) No – no, mixed signals! If I do “Daytime Divas,” which I did, and if I did “Divas” the concert, of course, I’m gonna be in it, but I’m not saying, “I’m a diva.” People look to me and may see me as a diva and that’s a compliment to those who think it’s a compliment. Like I said, Lena Horne and Dinah Washington and all those beautiful dolls back in the day, they were divas. These little divettes walking around – I don’t wanna put myself in the same sentence with some of these little kids. So, I’m not a diva; just a singin’ fool.

People are under the impression there’s rivalry between you and Aretha Franklin, but you recently quashed that rumor when you said, of anyone, you’d most want to duet with her. Why do people think you had a beef? And what’s the deal with women constantly being pitted against each other?

I’m not gonna be pitted against any lady in this industry. I do my job, I sing hard and I sing well, and I love what I do. If another lady finds that as being too much for them, or whoever might feel I’m being too much, that’s their problem. But I’ve never had beef.

Now, there are a lot of ladies in this industry who don’t care for Patti LaBelle – and some gentleman, also – but I look at them and I smile. Because what can I do? I can’t change your mind, boo, because I don’twanna change your mind. You go on thinkin’ about me the way you think. No – but I haven’t had beef with anyone. I’ve had a lot of dislikes. But I pay no mind. I keep moving and I don’t stop to talk about the ones who talk about me.

A lot of people don’t know that Montell Jordan wrote “Nobody’s Supposed to Be Here,” but you didn’t love it and then it went to Deborah Cox.

Deborah always says I’m her reason for being in show business because I let the song go and she got it. That’s her start. After that, I started performing that song at my show and told the audience, “This is the song that got away.” But I’m happy it did because I love her.

Have you given up a lot of songs that became hits?

Right?! Well, this is the first time for me. But I’ll know the next time to hold onto something that sounds halfway decent.

Do you pay attention to the memes and GIFs of you throwing shade that people love to share on the internet?

Yeah, I see them. And you know what, I’m honored! (Laughs) And whenever I see something that’s not totally positive about me, I say, “God, at least they thought about me.” It’s really the way to look at these situations. But at the end of the day I know who I really am… and that’s a cool chick! (Laughs)

Any last word for your gay fans?

I just want all of my gay fans to know that I will always be here for them the way I am: honest, to the point, and loving my gay fans even more and more each day. I mean, when I think about it, the gay fans are some of the reason – one big reason – I’m still standing ’cause they loved me when other people tried not to. Everybody always says, “What makes gay men like you?” I have no clue, I say. I still don’t. But I know that love has lifted me up for many, many years.

As long as I can stand on stage and my gay men and lesbian women see Patti LaBelle as someone who’s always been honest on stage – you know, I’ll stop and have to go to the bathroom and I’ll let them know I’ll be right back. A lot of cutie girls stand up there and they pretend for the hour or however how long and that’s just gross. It turns me off.

Read the full interview here.

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One Remark

  1. August 2nd, 2017 at 3:05 am
    Ed Meiller says:

    I love the Lady!

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