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Patti Labelle on retiring: “There’s no reason to stop unless you just can’t do anything anymore”

Written by on July 11, 2024

Photo by Johnny Nunez/Getty Images for Newark Symphony Hall

Patti Labelle turned 80 in May, and she’s currently on the road celebrating that and her 65-year career. She tells Billboard she remembers the days when making it to 50 was simply a prayer request.

“Because of my three sisters dying before they turned 50, I would always pray that I could make 50. When I did, it was like a miracle,” she says. “God has given me grace and I’m still here. And to say that I’m still here at 80, still doing what I did when I was 20, 30 and 40 … it’s another blessing. Because you can’t always take for granted that you’re going to be here at the age of 80, still performing and still in your right mind. So every day I say, ‘Thank you God for another day.'”

Having dedicated most of her life to music, she adds that retirement is not in the cards for her. “I’m going to keep on going,” Patti says. “There’s no reason to stop unless you just can’t do anything anymore, right?” She adds that she’s been working on new music and hopes to have something out in the next six months.

Patti’s 8065 Tour kicked off Sunday and has an end date of Dec. 14. Asked what fans can expect, Patti says, “I’m very eclectic and very spontaneous. I will do a whole lot of different kinds of music. You never know what I might do, but it’s going to be nice.”

“They [the shows] will be about who I am: a Bluebelles girl, a member of Labelle and then Patti LaBelle,” she continues. “It will be a reminder of what I’ve done all my life. … I just want to give a public thank you for all the years that people have been on my page with me.”

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