Sunday, January 25, 2009
MISS PATTI IS HONORED BY UNCF, FELLOW SINGERS AND BANDMATES
Miss Patti LaBelle has always shown love by giving her fans dynamic vocal performance as well as cooking for many of her family members, friends and fellow artists. She's also lend her time supporting many charities including the United Negro College Fund, an organization that provides funds for many students to attend historically Black Colleges, where many of the students go on to do well. To celebrate the organization's thirty-year anniversary, the organization recently honored the powerhouse vocalist, where many celebrities paid tribute to her in song, while singers Mariah Carey and Beyonce, spoke about the legend via video.
Oscar-winner Jennifer Hudson performed a soulful and sassy rendition of Patti's 1985 classic "Stir It Up" and a powerful rendition of the standard "Somewhere Over The Rainbow, whihc was an excellent choice for her to perform, while her friend and American Idol Fantasia's version of "Lady Marmalade" had the crowd out their seats. Espeically when she added her own ad-libs and strutted to the honoree, who gave her a kiss on the lips and jokinly reminded her that she missed her part in a loving way, while she cheered her on. Fantasia later retunred in a long black dress to perform Patti's 1992 hit "Somebody Loves You Baby (You Know Who It Is)" and decided to spice her performace up by asking the honoree if she could kick off her shoes for the performance. Briam McKnight put the guest in a loving mood when her performed Patti's first top charting solo hit "If Only You Knew" and "On My Own" where for the latter, was joined by Gospel singer Yolanda Adams, who did a great job singing in mid and high ranges as well as blending with the talented and soulful crooner.
Original Destiny's Child member Le-Toya Luckett did a great job performing "When you Talk About Love" with her vocals and asking the crowd to say Patti's name, which pleased the legend and fans, who was happy to see performing, despite the lack of time she was given to perform. Singer/talk-show host Wayne Brady performed his rendition of "Feels Like Another One" with rapper Big Daddy Kane, and while Brady has an excellent and powerful voice, he should have performed on of LaBelle's ballads, but his showmanship compensated, while Mario's performance of "If You Asked Me To" would have been better had he sang in a mid range during the first verse.
The highlight of the special was when Patti's group members Sarah Dash and Nona Hendryx tool center stage and performed their classic "Somebody Somewhere" from the group's classic 1984 album "Nightbirds" which had Patti out her seat dancing and cheering her sisters and groupmates on. Christine Michelle's performance, however wasn't as strong as it could have been. Her rendition of Patti's solo debut single "You Are My Friend" was ok, but her performance of the honoree's breakthrough Pop hit "New Attitude" wasn't suited for her Jazzy and Raspy vocals. The song required a singer with range to sing, and unfortantley her voice wasn't strong enough to sing that particular song. In addition to the performances, actresses Vicica A. Fox, Mon'que, and Holly Robinson Pette each expressed how Patti embraced them with love and advice, including Mom'que who taught her to beat her face (a gay term that means make sure your make-up is applied properly).
A highlight was when Patti accepted her award; this looks better than bling she said as she looked at her plaque. As she made her acceptance speech, the audience asked for her to does what she does best; sing. So she decided to sing the Sam Cooke classic "A Change Is Gonna Come" and had the audience out their seats and in tears as she gave them Patti and hugged the performances who gave her tribute.
The tribute wa nice, but it would have been beter had Nelly and Kelly Rowland been there to perform their top charting duet "Delimea" which contains a sample from Patti's 1984 hit "Love, Need and Want You." It also would have been nice had Cindy Birdsong been invited to join Dash and Hendryx to perform a song from their days as Patti LaBelle and The Bluebelles. Hopefully this will happen since they reunited ten years ago when they were honored by the Rhtyhm & Blues Foundation, which made it the first time they performed as a group in 32 years.