Patti LaBelle is a bonafide diva and the singer shared just how much she lived up to the title during a recent late night TV show appearance.
When asked about her iconic on-stage floor rolling and kicking off her shoes, LaBelle said she’s long given up writhing around on the ground but still ditches her luxurious footwear while performing. And she always gets them back — even if Prince is the one who catches them. He did just that at the 2010 BET Awards when LaBelle performed “Purple Rain” as part of a tribute to the now-deceased musician.
He lifted the Louboutin to show off his prize but LaBelle told Busy Phillips Jan. 10 the singer definitely didn’t keep it as a souvenir.
“Heck no,” she says of the singer’s longterm possession of her shoe.
That’s not the only star LaBelle has a story about, either. The veteran vocalist said she’s had to get physical with Carey, her famous goddaughter, every now and then.
“I have to slap her every now and then,” she explains after noting she’s advised the “Vision of Love” singer as well as Beyoncé and Mary J. Blige. “But she’s so phenomenal and so good. She doesn’t need to be slapped anymore. That’s my baby.”
While LaBelle had to get physical with Carey, she was much gentler with Richard Pryor. The two went on tour together in the late 1970s and she explained the late comic didn’t feel as if he was paying her enough to open for him.
“So he gave me a big sauna, he sent it to Philadelphia … and diamond bracelets and then he had me go and pick out a car for his aunt in Detroit,” she says before saying she chose a blue-gray car for her. “He said, ‘OK, now, sit in the car and turn on the ignition.’ I said, ‘What’s an ignition?'”
Pryor got in the car and turned in on, telling the singer that the vehicle was actually for her. But then, he learned a fact about LaBelle that persists to this day.
“I said, ‘Thank you Richard, but I can’t drive,'” LaBelle says.
But LaBelle doesn’t just encounter celebrity characters, she can be a character all on her own. The Gemini opened up about her alter ego Priscilla whom she says takes over when things are not in order.
“She’s ugly. She’s [a] very, very bad girl. I don’t like her,” LaBelle says. “She comes out whenever she has to … When things are not done the way that I need to see them, I get a little Priscilla-ish. She comes out and she’s not cute. And then I snap out of it, that other Gemini takes over and says, ‘Patti don’t do that.'”
LaBelle is currently on tour and is set to take the stage Sunday, Jan. 13 at the Shrine Auditorium and Expo Hall in Los Angeles for the star-studded “Aretha – A Celebration for the Queen of Soul” show.