Patricia Louise Holte (born May 24, 1944) is an American R&B singer, songwriter, actress, and businesswoman best known as Patti LaBelle. LaBelle is known as the “Godmother of Soul”. She began her career as the lead singer and frontwoman of the vocal group Patti LaBelle and the Bluebelles in the early 1960s. Following the group’s name change to Labelle in the 1970s, they released the popular number-one hit “Lady Marmalade”. As a result, after the group split in 1976, LaBelle began a successful solo career, starting with her critically acclaimed debut album, which included the career-defining song “You Are My Friend”.
Patti Labelle’s Plastic Surgery
Patti LaBelle regrets her previous cosmetic surgery and wishes she could go back in time and tell her younger self not to touch her nose. The Lady Marmalade singer admits she had surgery because her nose was too large. “I would tell my younger self not to have problems with how I looked… not to worry about that nose,” she tells Access Hollywood. I had a nose job because I had a more prominent nose – it’s the only surgery I’ve ever had on my face or body.
“He was beating myself up about how my nose looked before I changed it, and my nose was fine before I changed it, but it was my way of thinking that once I got on TV, it would look bigger.” ‘Patti, you shouldn’t have touched your nose back then,’ I would have said. ‘Be yourself’.”
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Patti Labelle’s Early Life
Patricia Louise Holte was born in the Eastwick neighbourhood of Southwest Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She was the second youngest of Henry (1919-1989) and Bertha (Robinson; 1916-1978) Holte’s three children and the fifth child overall. Thomas Hogan Jr. (1930-2013), Vivian Hogan (1932-1975), Barbara (1942-1982), and Jacqueline “Jackie” Hogan were her siblings (1945–1989).
Her father worked as a railroad worker and club performer, and her mother worked as a housekeeper. Even though she enjoyed her childhood, LaBelle later wrote in her memoirs, Don’t Block the Blessings, that her parent’s marriage was abusive. When LaBelle was twelve years old, shortly after her parent’s divorce, she was sexually abused by a family friend.
LaBelle won a talent competition at her high school, John Bartram High School when she was sixteen. With schoolmates Jean Brown, Yvonne Hogen, and Johnnie Dawson, she formed her first singing group, the Ordettes, in 1960. The group became a local attraction with LaBelle as the front woman until two of its members left to marry, and another was forced to resign by her religious father.
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Patti Labelle’s Career Foundation
Shortly after signing them, Robinson had them recorded as the Blue Belles, and they were chosen to promote the recording of “I Sold My Heart to the Junkman,” which The Starlets had recorded. Due to label issues, it was released as a Blue Belles single. The Starlets’ manager sued Harold Robinson after the Blue Belles were seen lip-syncing to the song on American Bandstand.
Robinson changed the group’s name to “Patti LaBelle and The Blue Belles” after settling out of court. Holte was given the name “LaBelle” by Robinson, which means “the beautiful” in French. Initially, the group was referred to as “Patti Bell and the Blue Bells” in a Billboard advertisement. The group’s first hit single was the ballad “Down the Aisle,” which became a crossover top 40 hit on the Billboard pop and R&B charts after being released by King Records in 1963.
Later that year, they recorded their version of “You’ll Never Walk Alone”; the single was later re-released on Cameo-Parkway Records, where the group had a second pop chart hit with the song in 1964. Another chart-topping single, “Danny Boy,” was released that same year. In 1965, after Cameo-Parkway folded, the group moved to New York and signed with Atlantic Records. They recorded twelve singles for the label, including the mildly charted singles “All or Nothing” and “Take Me for a Little While”.