Patti LaBelle wants you to know she’s not a diva.
In an interview with PrideSource, the 69-year-old music legend said that she dislikes being called a diva because she thinks the term is overused.
“That word is used so loosely that I don’t even consider myself a diva,” she said. “I always considered myself a woman who sings her heart out and who gives 120 percent. ‘Diva’ is a word that I wouldn’t wanna call myself because it’s so loosely used. It’s not cute anymore.”
The “On My Own” singer then referred to today’s pop stars on why she did not want to be called the D-word, explaining that it was “because all these little heifers who can’t sing are called divas!”
“It doesn’t mean anything to me and probably to some of the other ladies who have been doing it for as long as I have: Gladys Knight, Aretha Franklin, Dionne Warwick,” LaBelle added. “You know, I’m speaking for me — I don’t know if they like to be called divas — but I know I wouldn’t call them divas, because it’s not in good company.”
LaBelle noted that the word “diva” was once used to praise “opera singers, and for ladies who earned it, but that was way, way back when.”
“Now you can look up to them, but you might not see what you wanna see. A hot mess!” she said. “People who are doing it and doing it with about 40 people on stage with them to hide their pitifulness — that’s not a word, but you know what I mean.”
The Grammy winner is currently on tour through February, and is working on three albums — jazz, dance music and a collection of ballads.