Patti LaBelle Breaks Down on Stage
Tue, 28 Mar 2006 16:59:36
Maybe it was the cold weather. Maybe it was the health problems -- she suffers from diabetes and a heart murmur. Whatever the case, sometimes the show just can't go on, as Patti LaBelle found out last weekend during a festival performance in Florida.
After 45 minutes of struggling through her catalog of hits, including the recently ubiquitous "Lady Marmalade," the 62-year-old R&B icon cashed in her chips and left the stage. Her retreat was preceded by a large chunk of the audience, who headed for the exits when she told them, after some false starts and broken notes, that she would understand if they walked out. Others in the crowd gamely tried to support LaBelle by singing backup or passing warmer clothes up to the stage. In the end, it was clear that the highlight of the night for the audience was going to be Eric Benet's opening set.
"I've never been this embarrassed in my life," LaBelle told the crowd. "This sucks. It's the worst show I've ever done in my life." For someone who's been performing since her teenage years, that's a powerful statement -- but while her career has had a normal series of ups and downs over four decades, there had probably never been a helpless moment like this. Despite the setback, which made national headlines, LaBelle continues on a schedule that has her booked into March 2007, with stops ranging from Ontario's Casino Rama to NYC's Madison Square Garden.
-- The ARTISTdirect Staff