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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

"Sometimes backstage I had nothing at my disposal but aluminum foil and an iron, so I would cook with that. I made pretty good grilled cheese sandwiches and even heated up chicken with that foil and an iron. You have to become creative with what you have to work with," reminisced LaBelle.

Suffering from diabetes, LaBelle has written several books on eating healthy, including one she wrote to help diabetics. "It's the diabetic's job to leave the bad foods alone. Diabetics need to prepare food without butter. Bake, broil and boil instead of frying. You can do vegetables with smoked turkey to avoid fats when cooking greens.

"Diabetes was a life-changing experience for me. I've spent 15 years living with the disease. I steam much of my food and use pink salt, sea salt and hot peppers to spice food up, so I don't miss the fats. I had a restaurant in Philadelphia for a hot minute called Chez LaBelle. It's difficult to run a restaurant. It's hard to find a chef who cooks like Patti LaBelle, so I did not keep the restaurant long," recalled LaBelle.

LaBelle talked about her family. "I have one natural son, my deceased sister's two children, and I have two brothers. They are all wonderful. I am the godmother of Cyndi Lauper's son and Laura Nero's son. I am also the godmother of Mariah Carey. Laura's son is a rapper now. We try to stay in touch with one another as much as we can."

"I am presently in the studio working on a new CD. I've chosen songs that belong to the greats like Ella Fitzgerald and Sarah Vaughn. Some songs people have never heard before. I have been working on the CD for six months now and should be finished by the end of the year," said LaBelle, who is delighted to have Lewis open the show for her.

"I haven't met him yet, but I intend to meet him. I know we will have a good time on May 11. I hope everyone will come out and support me. I am going to do my very best to give my fans a great show."