Patti LaBelle says she’s coming out of retirement to record with Jazmine Sullivan: report

The Godmother of Soul said she is returning to the booth after a phone call dispelled her initial belief that Sullivan didn't like her.

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Iconic singer Patti LaBelle appeared on N.O.R.E. and DJ EFN’s “Drink Champs” podcast Friday to chat about her career and current projects, including an upcoming collaboration with R&B superstar Jazmine Sullivan.

The Godmother of Soul said she hasn’t recorded R&B music in 15 years, but was inspired to return to the booth after connecting with Sullivan this month. LaBelle divulged that she initially believed that the “Heaux Tales” singer had negative feelings about her, according to BET.

Patti LaBelle thegrio.com
NEW YORK, NEW YORK – JUNE 13: Patti LaBelle poses backstage during the Songwriters Hall Of Fame 50th Annual Induction And Awards Dinner at The New York Marriott Marquis on June 13, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Gary Gershoff/Getty Images for Songwriters Hall Of Fame )

“I thought Jazmine Sullivan hated me,” LaBelle revealed, later adding: “whenever I would see her, she’s shy and I would give her all these props and stuff and I’d say ‘baby girl don’t like me.’ My feelings were hurt until last week.”

LaBelle, 78, said the two singers had a phone conversation that made her “heart pound.” During the conversation, Sullivan, 35, reportedly assured LaBelle of her love and appreciation.

“When we talked on the phone she said ‘Patti LaBelle, you’re my everything.’ She said ‘I love you so much I get shy when I’m around you,’” she said. “So you see how things are misunderstood in this business … sometimes people wanna make us hate each other and say ‘oh, she don’t like her.’”

After clearing up the misunderstanding, LaBelle then teased an upcoming star-studded collaboration with Sullivan and other artists, which she said will mark her first time recording in a decade-and-a-half.

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – APRIL 03: Jazmine Sullivan winner for Best R&B Performance and Best R&B Album poses in the winners photo room during the 64th Annual GRAMMY Awards at MGM Grand Garden Arena on April 03, 2022 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by David Becker/Getty Images for The Recording Academy)

“Jazmine and I are recording soon,” she said. “You know, after 15 years I haven’t recorded. So I’m doing stuff with her and a bunch of other sweeties.”

In February, LaBelle performed four of her timeless tracks on NPR Music’s hit YouTube show “Tiny Desk” as part of a series celebrating Black History Month. The series also featured Kirk Franklin, El DeBarge, Too $hort and other pioneering Black artists across genres.

In April, Sullivan won her first two Grammy awards in over a decade of working in the music industry. She won Best R&B Performance for her song, “Pick Up Your Feelings,” and Best R&B Album for “Heaux Tales.”

Watch the rest of LaBelle’s “Drink Champs” interview below.

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