Many have tried, but as we at Haute D’ Vie know all too well, not everyone has what it takes to make it to the status of a diva. That’s right fabulous people, we’re not talking about the Urban Dictionary definition of a diva – a female version of a hustler – but diva as defined by Merriam-Webster Dictionary, which is “a usually glamorous and successful female performer or personality.” Singer, actress, entertainer and entrepreneur Patti LaBelle certainly fits that description to the nines and beyond, and is our dashing diva of the week!
The 73-year-old soulful songbird is continuing to build her diva domain by landing a recurring on VH1’s new scripted series Daytime Divas starring Ms. Patti’s dear friend Vanessa Williams, which is scheduled to premiere later this year. LaBelle is also preparing for the release of a new album, an as-yet untitled compilation of jazz standards due out this May. During a recent performance at Cleveland, Ohio’s Hard Rock Rocksino Northfield Park (Feb. 10), Patti LaBelle, affectionately known by those who love and adore her as Ms. Patti, showed and proved exactly why she is the definition of a true diva.
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Not everyone call pull off an all-gold ensemble without looking like a walking “wish they hadn’t done that” (case in point, CeeLo Green on this weekend’s Grammy red carpet). But seriously, everything golden doesn’t look good on everyone. Ms. Patti proved that she’s got the presence and confidence to wear a gold ensemble and look like a million bucks in it! The lady who gave us “New Attitude” came onto the Hard Rock Rocksino stage in a two-piece gold skirt set, heels and the chicest of chic cropped bob complete with bang look, which gave us awe and gave us life. If you want to be a diva, you have to LOOK like a diva, OK?!
She’s Got Loyal Fans and Followers – Lots and Lots of Them
Perhaps one of the most entertaining moments of Ms. Patti’s 90-minute concert was when she went all interactive on us and invited a handful of the men in the audience to join her onstage. What did they have to do to earn their place in Ms. Patti’s spotlight, you ask? Sing and dance, of course! And well, let’s just say some were better at it than others, but Ms. Patti appreciated and praised each and every one of them. Those of us watching the spectacle got the sense that these gentlemen knew that they were in the presence of someone regal and royal. Only a true diva can command that much respect and regality.
She Keeps it Classy Yet Real
Ms. Patti looked spectacular during her Hard Rock Rocksino performance, and she sounded just as amazing as she looked! It’s mind-blowing to think that this singing sensation has been making magic with her phenomenal voice for 53 years, first as a member of Patti LaBelle and the LaBelles, then as LaBelle, and ultimately as a solo artist. Ms. Patti to say the least is not new to this, she’s true to this, and she flowed from one hit song to another – “If Only You Knew,” “If You Ask Me To,” “New Attitude,” “Lady Marmalade,” “Somebody Love You” and “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” – like the seasoned songstress that she is. But even seasoned songbirds like Ms. Patti need to a minute sometimes to get it together, and LaBelle took hers during about halfway through her set and had the crowd clapping and cackling when she said ever so sweetly, “Can you turn the fan on? Ms. Patti’s hot.” Well there you have it, it’s not easy being a diva but Ms. Patti sure makes it look that way!
She’s an Innovator and an Originator
From the legendary spiked hair and trendsetting outfits, to her signature moves onstage (remember when she used to roll around onstage and flap her arms like a bird?), to her ridiculously impressive octave range that many singers have tried but failed to match and master, Ms. Patti has carved out for herself an indelible place in popular music and culture that has influenced and inspired countless singers to follow. During her performance, Ms. Patti even reminded us that she is indeed a musical pioneer when she told us that she was the first to perform the hit song “If You Ask Me To” – even before the amazing Celine Dion made the song a hit all over again with her cover. As we all watched Ms. Patti kick off her shoes, drop the mic, and make her voice soar to unknown and uncharted places during her performance, it was a reminder of just what a talent and a treasure she truly is.
She Recognizes Greatness in Others
Perhaps the most powerful and poignant moment of the night came when Ms. Patti closed out her show by paying tribute to many greats who have gone too soon – Maya Angelou, Etta James, B.B. King, Minnie Ripperton, Amy Winehouse, Nelson Mandela, Nina Simone, Otis Redding, Bernie Mac, George Michael, Rick James, David Bowie, Whitney Houston, Prince, Michael Jackson, Aaliyah, Robin Williams, and several others. As photos of these enormous talents were projected onstage and Ms. Patti sang a heartfelt “You Are My Friend” we were reminded that as good as we are and as great as we get, we are all in this together and we must love and support each other. Ms. Patti has always been known for her giving spirit and huge heart, which is just one more reason why we love and adore her.