Patti LaBelle Celebrates 80th Birthday with Star-Studded Surprise Party and Reflects on Decades of Success

The iconic Patti LaBelle, revered as the “Godmother of Soul,” marked a significant milestone as she turned 80 years old.

Patti LaBelle. (PHOTO: VIA PEOPLE, JOHNNY NUNEZ/GETTY IMAGES FOR PATTI'S GOOD LIFE)
Patti LaBelle. (PHOTO: VIA PEOPLE, JOHNNY NUNEZ/GETTY IMAGES FOR PATTI’S GOOD LIFE)

Celebrating with a surprise party on May 23rd at the Glasshouse in New York City, LaBelle was surrounded by an array of celebrities and friends who gathered to honor her illustrious career and enduring spirit.

Hosted by the legendary Whoopi Goldberg, the celebration was a testament to LaBelle’s profound influence in the music and entertainment industry.

Notable attendees included Gayle King, Gladys Knight, Sherri Shepherd, and Debbie Allen, alongside a plethora of other stars such as Tamron Hall, Andy Cohen, Tameka Foster, Tina Knowles, Mika Brzezinski, Tamar Braxton, and New York City Mayor Eric Adams. The evening was a blend of cocktails, dinner, and a joyous party, all orchestrated to celebrate LaBelle’s remarkable journey and her contributions to music and culture.

In an exclusive interview with PEOPLE at the event, LaBelle expressed her overwhelming emotion upon seeing the outpouring of love and support from her peers.

“Everybody in the industry that I know were here, and I had a lot of tears,” she shared. “But I had to keep on my lashes, so I couldn’t cry too much.” This mix of humor and heartfelt sentiment is characteristic of LaBelle, who has always been known for her endearing personality.

Patti LaBelle and Gayle King. (PHOTO: VIA PEOPLE, JOHNNY NUNEZ/GETTY IMAGES FOR PATTI'S GOOD LIFE)
Patti LaBelle and Gayle King. (PHOTO: VIA PEOPLE, JOHNNY NUNEZ/GETTY IMAGES FOR PATTI’S GOOD LIFE)

Patti LaBelle’s career spans over six decades, beginning in the 1960s with the formation of Patti LaBelle and The Bluebelles, which later evolved into the iconic group Labelle.

Their hit “Lady Marmalade” catapulted them to international fame, showcasing LaBelle’s powerful voice and stage presence. Over the years, LaBelle has not only been celebrated for her musical talents but also for her bold and unique fashion choices, particularly her collection of wigs from the 1980s.

“All those crazy hairstyles. I have a room full of hair,” she revealed, highlighting a significant aspect of her vibrant persona.

Reflecting on her extensive career, LaBelle emphasized the importance of kindness and resilience. “I’ve learned to be kind when people are not kind.

You always take the high road,” she explained. This philosophy has undoubtedly guided her through the ups and downs of her career, enabling her to remain a beloved figure in the entertainment world.

Among the many highlights of her career, one performance stands out in LaBelle’s memory: her rendition of Bob Dylan’s “Forever Young” during the 1985 Live Aid concert in Philadelphia.

Sharing the stage with legends like Tina Turner and Mick Jagger, LaBelle delivered a performance imbued with spiritual fervor.

Gayle King, Whoopi Goldberg, Patti LaBelle, Bevy Smith and Tamar Braxton. (PHOTO: VIA PEOPLE, JOHNNY NUNEZ/GETTY IMAGES FOR PATTI'S GOOD LIFE)
Gayle King, Whoopi Goldberg, Patti LaBelle, Bevy Smith and Tamar Braxton. (PHOTO: VIA PEOPLE, JOHNNY NUNEZ/GETTY IMAGES FOR PATTI’S GOOD LIFE)

“I got the Holy Ghost spirit and I walked down in the audience, and the floor was full of water, and I didn’t have on any shoes,” she recalled. “So people thought I was going to get electrocuted. God lifted me, and I sang that song like it was the last song ever in my life.”

As LaBelle looks forward to the future, she remains grateful for each day. “I achieve to be nicer than I was before that, before I turned 80.

I want to be nicer in my nineties,” she stated. Her aspiration to spread more love and positivity is a reflection of her enduring commitment to uplifting others through her music and actions.

Patti LaBelle’s influence extends beyond her music. She is a symbol of strength, resilience, and grace, inspiring generations of artists and fans alike.

Her birthday celebration was not just a reflection of her past achievements but also a reminder of her continuous impact on the world. As she embarks on this new chapter, LaBelle’s legacy as a trailblazer and a beacon of love and kindness remains firmly intact.

In a world that often seems divided, LaBelle’s message of taking the high road and spreading love is more relevant than ever.

As she celebrated her 80th birthday surrounded by those who admire and respect her, Patti LaBelle reaffirmed her place as a cherished icon whose influence will undoubtedly continue to resonate for years to come.

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