Patti Turns 73, Tells What She’s Now Learned From Rejecting A Popular Movie Role

Posted On : May 24, 2017

The iconic Patti LaBelle turned 73 today (May 24, 2017) and she’s just as beautiful, gifted, and fierce as she ever was. She’s just released her very first jazz album, Bell Homage, and her desert recipe cookbook, Deserts LaBelle, is heating up book stores everywhere.

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As she celebrates the big 7-3, she’s sharing words of wisdom she’s learned throughout the decades, after several trials and errors and in some cases, missed opportunities, of her own doing.

Patti: “I Was The Turn Down Queen”

During a recent interview with WWD, Patti spoke about turning 73 and discussed one the biggest lessons she’s learned, which is basically to be fearless, even when you might be fearful of the unknown. That lesson she discussed when the topic of a few acting roles and a major 90’s hit song- all of which she turned down.

Patti Rejected “The Color Purple” Role

Actress, Margaret Avery, as "Shug Avery" in "The Color Purple"
Actress, Margaret Avery, as “Shug Avery” in “The Color Purple”

As we previously reported, Ms. Patti was actually offered the chance to be in one of the most classic, timeless 80’s films ever- The Color Purple, as the role of “Shug Avery.” Can you believe she turned it down? Ah well…we live and we learn.

Patti On Rejecting “Nobody’s Supposed To Be Here” Hit Song

Then came the 90’s classic jam, “Nobody’s Supposed To Be Here.” Yep, we’re talking about Deborah Cox’s song, which was written by “This Is How We Do It” singer, Montell Jordan. It was supposed to be Patti’s song first, but here’s what she said about rejecting it:

Via WWD: “I’m the turn-down queen,” [Patti LaBelle] says with a laugh. “Deborah Cox always thanks me for her career. Montell Jordan wrote ‘Nobody’s Supposed to Be Here’ for me, but I hated it. It just didn’t have something. She got it and whenever we see each other, she thanks me for giving her the hit.”

Having Second Thoughts On Refusing Popular Broadway Hit

Lastly, was the mega Broadway hit, “Hello Dolly,” which earns major bread every time it runs. Patti gave a ‘no thank you’ to that too, when the producers asked her to star in the Broadway play about 4 years ago. Legendary actress/singer, Bette Midler, is currently running with that role, but Ms. LaBelle has had a change of heart now:

“That was something else I said no to. Now [Bette Midler] is doing it. I’m going to check it out and I think I might do it when she leaves — I mean, I would like to.”

Patti On Lesson She Learned From Being The “Turn Down Queen”

Patti then explained the lesson she’s learned from allowing herself to miss those opportunities:

Via WWD: LaBelle raises her mile-long nails (yes, they’re real) to the sky with a gesture of affirmation. “There’s nothing you should say no to. Try it all and if you fail, you did try.”

On How She Feels About Turning 73

Patti also touched on why she’s ‘feeling good from her head to her shoes’ at 73 years young:

“Honey, [age] is nothing but a number! The older I get, the happier I get. It’s not because I made the age day, but it seems that I’m seasoned. I’m like an antique and all good things are coming my way.”

Thanks Patti, lessons noted. Like we said earlier, we all live and we learn. Happy birthday Ms. LaBelle.

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