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Patti LaBelle prepares to wow crowd at Lehman

DEARDRA SHULER Special to the AmNews | 5/23/2013, 2:59 p.m.
It's not the first time that Patti LaBelle has appeared at Lehman Center for the...
Patti LaBelle prepares to wow crowd at Lehman

It's not the first time that Patti LaBelle has appeared at Lehman Center for the Performing Arts, but whenever she does, she is loved. LaBelle will regale the audience as only she can on Saturday, May 11, during her 8 p.m. performance. Lehman Center is located at 250 Bedford Park Blvd. West in the Bronx, so if you want to catch her, it's best to call the box office at 718-960-8833 before tickets disappear.

Eva Bornstein, the executive director of Lehman College, is also sponsoring a spring gala and benefit for Lehman Center in cooperation with the Montefiore Children's Hospital. The benefit reception will take place in the Lehman Center lobby from 4:30-7 p.m. "We will be serving wine and hors d'oeuvres and Patti will attend. So if people want to say hi and snap photos, they can. I cannot guarantee that they can get close to her, but they can share the same space.

"I am also proud to help young artists. Patti loves to do that as well. So Lehman will be featuring Xavier Lewis, who was a contestant on 'America's Got Talent,' as Patti's opening act," Bornstein continued. "He is a very talented young man whose song, 'Georgia Clay,' was featured on 'The Steve Harvey Show.' Also, Xavier was the grand prize winner of the Georgia Lottery All Access Music Search for pop/R&B, and his single was featured throughout the State of Georgia.

"We encourage people to attend the gala. For information about the gala, go online at www.lehmancenter.org or call 718-960-8835."

Who doesn't know Patti LaBelle? Many recall when she first appeared on the music scene with the Bluebelles. LaBelle spent 16 years as lead singer of Patti LaBelle and the Bluebelles, which eventually changed its name to LaBelle in the early 1970s. We recall songs like "On My Own," "Lady Marmalade," "New Attitude," "If Only You Knew," "You are My Friend" and "Love, Need and Want You," et al. She will sing some of those hits at Lehman Center on May 11.

LaBelle was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame, the Hollywood Walk of Fame, the Apollo Hall of Fame, the Songwriters' Hall of Fame and was recognized by the World Music Awards. She has appeared in "A Soldier's Story," "A Different World," "Mama, I Want to Sing!," "Cosby," "Living it Up With Patti LaBelle," "Top Chef" and "Preaching to the Choir."

LaBelle has sold over 50 million records worldwide and authored and co-authored books like "Don't Block the Blessings," which was on the New York Times' bestseller list for weeks; "Patti LaBelle's Lite Cuisine" (recipes suited for people living with diabetes); "Recipes for the Good Life"; "Patti's Pearls"; and "LaBelle's Cuisine: Recipes to Sing About."

Reflecting on her life, LaBelle remarked, "I would say that I am pretty, pretty blessed. You never know what is going to happen in life. I am happy about all the things I've done and all the people I've met. God is good. I feel very fortunate."

Known for her love of cooking, LaBelle recalled performing with Elton John in London back in the day. "Sometimes you can get pretty hungry preparing to go onstage, so after the shows, I often fed the folks. We would sit around playing cards and I would win all of Elton and his bands' money. I had a place in London and I would cook and we would play cards and eat.