Patricia Louise Holte (born May 24, 1944), best known by her stage name of Patti LaBelle, is an American R&B and soul singer-songwriter and actress. She fronted two groups, Patti LaBelle and the Bluebelles, which received minor success on the pop charts in the 1960s, and Labelle, which received acclaim and a mainstream breakthrough in 1974 with their song "Lady Marmalade."
She went on to have a solo recording career, earning another U.S. #1 single in 1986 with "On My Own," a duet with Michael McDonald.
LaBelle released her self-titled debut in 1977 on Epic Records, which featured the top twenty R&B dance single, "Joy to Have Your Love" and the modestly-charted gospel ballad, "You Are My Friend," which she co-wrote and dedicated to her son. The album received critical acclaim but didn't give LaBelle any commercial success.
Other albums such as 1978's “Tasty” 1979's “It's Alright with Me,” 1980's “Released” and 1981's “The Spirit's in It,” which included her now classic solo cover of her old Bluebelles single, "Somewhere Over the Rainbow," also failed to chart successfully.
In 1980, she scored a Dutch top twenty hit and a modest U.S. dance hit with "Release (The Tension)." Three years later, in 1982, LaBelle and singer Al Green participated in the revival of the successful Broadway play, "Your Arm's Too Short to Box with God." That same year, she recorded the hit ballad, "The Best is Yet to Come," which she was featured on by Grover Washington, Jr. The song reached number fourteen on the R&B chart and garnered LaBelle her first solo Grammy Award nomination.
LaBelle didn't start to experience commercial solo success until 1983 when she released her first charted hit album, “I'm in Love Again,” which featured LaBelle's first #1 R&B and top fifty pop hit with "If Only You Knew" and its top ten R&B follow-up, "Love, Need and Want You." The album became her first solo release to be certified gold.
In 1984, LaBelle recorded the songs "New Attitude" and "Stir It Up" for the “Beverly Hills Cop” soundtrack. Both songs became mainstays on pop radio with "New Attitude" reaching the pop top 20.
LaBelle's popularity increased further in 1986 with the release of her best-selling album to date, “Winner in You.” The album yielded her first solo #1, "On My Own" with pop balladeer Michael McDonald, the Top 40 Billboard Hot 100 hit, "Oh, People," the moderate R&B chart hit, "Kiss Away The Pain" and the Hot Dance Music/Club Play chart hit, "Something Special Is Gonna Happen Tonight."
LaBelle scored a moderate R&B and pop chart hit with the Diane Warren ballad, "If You Asked Me To," in 1989. The song peaked at #10 on the Adult Contemporary and R&B charts.
In 1991, LaBelle released the gold-selling Burnin' album, which helped her win her first Grammy Award -- tying with vocalist Lisa Fischer for Best R&B Female Vocal Performance. Burnin' featured the top five R&B hits "Somebody Loves You Baby (You Know Who It Is)", "When You've Been Blessed (Feels Like Heaven)" and "Feels Like Another One."
In 2000, LaBelle released her final album for the MCA label. “When a Woman Loves” features a collection of ballads written entirely by songwriter Diane Warren. Four years would pass before LaBelle released a new album under Island Def Jam with the album, “Timeless Journey,” which saw LaBelle adding a modern hip-hop flavor to her brand of classic R&B. The album featured the modest hit "A New Day," which became a dance hit and also became her highest-charted album in nearly twenty years reaching number-sixteen on the Billboard 200.
In 2006, LaBelle issued her oft-promised gospel album on an independent label titled “The Gospel According To Patti LaBelle” was released. The album debuted at #86 on the Billboard 200, #17 on the R&B chart and peaked at #1 on the Gospel chart.