Patti LaBelle, Auntie Patti, Ms. LaBelle, Lady Marmalade…whatever you want to call her, Patti’s name is synonymous with good music and big smiles. Born Patricia Louise Holte-Edwards in Philadelphia in 1944, her career spans over a half of century with awards, critical acclaim and a string of hits.
When Patti LaBelle learned she had diabetes after passing out on stage 20 years ago, the legendary singer said she thought that meant no more fun in the kitchen. After all, LaBelle’s grandmother, mother, aunt and uncle suffered from diabetes and, due to complications, her mother’s legs were amputated. And her uncle eyesight was robbed from him due to the same disease.
But Labelle has learned to move beyond the disease by changing up to a flavorful diet and using her creative skills in the kitchen to her advantage.
Recently, BlackDoctor.org exclusively sat down with Ms. Patti as she turns 76 years old and found out that she’s not slowing down anytime soon.
BDO: Your birthday is coming up, what are your plans?
Patti: You know it just feels good to do nothing sometimes. By doing so much (shows, appearances, etc), I’m looking forward to just relaxing and truly enjoy doing nothing.
BDO: What do you think about your pies blowing up all over the place?
Patti: My pies were in Walmart in September of 2015, and now my friend–I didn’t know him at the time–but my friend James just blew it out of the water. He stayed with me in Philly for four days. I fed him, took him to the clubs, lol. I call him my angel from pie heaven.
BDO: How is that you have a knack for making everyone feel like family?
Patti: Thank you. It was really my dad. I grew up in a household where my mom and dad made everyone feel welcome. My dad was real laid back and it’s just that sense of family that I guess was instilled in me. That was the foundation that was laid for me and I’m just happy I received it.
Patti’s mom lost her legs because of diabetes and her grandmother and aunt both passed away of complications from the disease. Patti was also diagnosed with type 2 diabetes in 1994.
BDO: How is it dealing with diabetes? What is the biggest hurdle you have to get over?
Patti: I was able to get off some medications due me changing my diet and lifestyle, but its…