Sunday, Oct. 20, 7:30 p.m.
Sound Board at MotorCity Casino & Hotel
These days Patti LaBelle is perhaps most famous for those delicious sweet potato pies she sells at Walmart. But the soul music legend has been singing for the masses for more than 50 years, first as frontwoman for the group Patti LaBelle & The Bluebelles, then the funk ensemble LaBelle and since 1976 as a solo artist.
That was the year that her signature tune, “You Are My Friend,” appeared on her first solo album for Epic Records. Other hits continued during her epic years, such as “Joy To Have Your Love” and “I Don’t Go Shopping,” before she switched to Philadelphia International Records. Through PIR the now-classic “If Only You Knew” came to be released in 1983 and went all the way to number one on the rhythm and blues charts. Two years later, in 1985, LaBelle signed to MCA Records where she was immediately included on the soundtrack to the Eddie Murphy hit movie “Beverly Hills Cop.” She scored two crossover hits on the soundtrack, including “New Attitude” and “Stir It Up.”
Still, her biggest success lay in front of her. In 1986 she released the single “On My Own,” a duet with Michael McDonald for her MCA debut album “Winner In You.” The song went to number one on the R&B and pop charts and to number two on the adult contemporary chart. While this period might represent the peak of her career commercially, it wasn’t until 1992 that she won her first Grammy Award in the category of Best Female R&B Vocal Performance for the album “Burnin’.”
Since then, LaBelle has continued to release albums, books, fragrances and those delicious pies. She also continues to tour and at age 75 shows no signs of slowing down. See her at the Sound Board at MotorCity Casino & Hotel on Sunday, Oct. 20, at 7:30 p.m.