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Patti LaBelle is a legendary American singer, songwriter, and actress, with a career spanning over six decades. Her powerhouse vocals and soulful performances have earned her numerous accolades and a spot in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. With hits like “Lady Marmalade,” “New Attitude,” and “On My Own,” LaBelle has become a household name and a cultural icon. In this article, we’ll be exploring the top 10 best Patti LaBelle songs of all time, showcasing her incredible range and artistry as a musician. From her early days with the Bluebelles to her successful solo career, each song on this list is a testament to LaBelle’s ability to captivate audiences and leave a lasting impression. Whether you’re a die-hard fan or just discovering her music, this list is sure to have you singing along and grooving to the beat. So, let’s take a journey through Patti LaBelle’s discography and celebrate some of her most memorable and beloved songs.
1. “You Are My Friend”
“You Are My Friend” is a soulful ballad by Patti LaBelle that was released in 1978. The song was a hit, reaching number 12 on the Billboard R&B chart. It’s a beautiful and powerful tribute to friendship, with LaBelle’s soaring vocals expressing the depth of her love and appreciation for her friend. The song features a piano-driven melody that is both tender and moving, and LaBelle’s delivery is nothing short of magnificent, conveying both strength and vulnerability. The song has since become a staple of LaBelle’s live performances, and has been covered by many other artists over the years.
2. “If Only You Knew”
“If Only You Knew” is a soulful ballad that showcases Patti LaBelle’s powerful vocals and emotional depth. Released in 1983, the song became one of LaBelle’s signature hits and a classic in R&B music. The lyrics describe the pain of unrequited love and the longing for someone who doesn’t reciprocate the same feelings. LaBelle’s performance is raw and honest, capturing the vulnerability and heartbreak that comes with this experience. The song’s arrangement is also notable, with its stirring piano melody and stirring string section adding to the overall emotional impact. “If Only You Knew” has endured as a timeless anthem for anyone who has loved and lost, cementing Patti LaBelle’s place as one of the greatest soul singers of all time.
3. “Love, Need and Want You”
“Love, Need and Want You” is a soulful ballad by Patti LaBelle that was released in 1983. It was written and produced by Gamble and Huff and features a smooth and sultry sound that showcases LaBelle’s powerful vocals. The song tells the story of a woman who is struggling to keep her relationship together despite her lover’s lack of commitment. LaBelle’s emotional delivery of the lyrics is a testament to her ability to convey heartbreak and pain through her music. The song’s catchy chorus, combined with the smooth melody, makes it a fan favorite and a classic soul hit.
4. “New Attitude”
“New Attitude” is an upbeat and empowering song by Patti LaBelle. Released in 1984, the song became one of LaBelle’s signature hits and is still played in various contexts, including movies, TV shows, and commercials. The song was written by Sharon Robinson, Jon Gilutin, and Bunny Hull and features a mix of pop, R&B, and rock influences. The lyrics encourage listeners to embrace change and take control of their lives with a fresh outlook and a positive attitude. The catchy chorus and LaBelle’s strong and dynamic vocals make this song an anthem for self-empowerment and personal growth.
5. “Stir It Up”
“Stir It Up” is a classic song from Patti LaBelle’s album “Winner in You”. Released in 1984, the song became a big hit, reaching number one on the R&B chart and number 41 on the Billboard Hot 100. The song is an upbeat and energetic track that showcases LaBelle’s powerful vocals and her ability to get people moving.
“Stir It Up” is an infectious dance tune with a funky beat and catchy chorus that encourages people to let loose and have a good time. The song’s lyrics talk about letting go of your inhibitions and allowing yourself to be swept away by the music. LaBelle’s voice is full of energy and passion, making it impossible not to want to dance along.
The song has become a staple of LaBelle’s live performances, and it remains one of her most beloved and well-known tracks. With its upbeat tempo, funky grooves, and catchy chorus, “Stir It Up” is a timeless classic that continues to inspire listeners to let loose and have fun on the dance floor.
6. “On My Own”
“On My Own” is a powerful duet between Patti LaBelle and Michael McDonald released in 1986. The song became a massive hit, reaching number one on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart, and it’s widely regarded as one of LaBelle’s most iconic songs. The track features both singers expressing their emotions about a relationship that’s come to an end, and the feeling of having to move on and start over. LaBelle’s soaring vocals and McDonald’s soulful tone blend together perfectly, creating an unforgettable and timeless sound. The song’s powerful chorus has become an anthem for anyone going through a tough breakup or feeling alone in their struggles. With its stirring melody and emotional lyrics, “On My Own” has continued to resonate with audiences and remains a beloved classic to this day.
7. “If You Asked Me To”
“If You Asked Me To” is a romantic ballad performed by Patti LaBelle, released in 1989 as the lead single from her album “Be Yourself.” The song, written by Diane Warren and produced by Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, became a huge commercial success, peaking at #10 on the US Billboard Hot 100 and #1 on the US Billboard Adult Contemporary chart.
The song’s lyrics express the depth of love and devotion the singer has for her partner, claiming she would do anything for them if they asked her to. LaBelle’s powerful vocals and emotional delivery of the lyrics create a captivating and heartfelt performance. The track features a soaring chorus, lush instrumentation, and a memorable guitar solo.
The song’s popularity was further boosted when it was covered by Canadian singer Celine Dion in 1992, and was featured in the film “Up Close & Personal.” Dion’s version became a global hit, reaching the top 10 in several countries. Overall, “If You Asked Me To” is a timeless love song that showcases LaBelle’s vocal range and emotional depth.
8. “Yo Mister”
“You Mister” is a song by Patti LaBelle that was released in 1989 as a single from her album “Be Yourself.” The song was produced by Prince and features his signature sound of electronic drums and synthesizers. The lyrics tell the story of a woman who is in a relationship with a man who mistreats her, but she stands up for herself and tells him to leave. The song’s powerful message is conveyed through LaBelle’s commanding vocals and the infectious beat that makes you want to dance. The music video for the song was directed by Prince and features LaBelle in a red dress, dancing with a group of women and standing up to a man who tries to control her. “Yo Mister” became a top 20 hit on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and cemented LaBelle’s status as a powerhouse vocalist and performer.
9. “Somebody Loves You Baby (You Know Who It Is)”
“Somebody Loves You Baby (You Know Who It Is)” is a soulful ballad by Patti LaBelle, released in 1983. The song is a powerful declaration of love and devotion, with LaBelle’s vocals conveying both strength and vulnerability. The catchy chorus and the lush instrumental arrangements make the song memorable, and it has become one of LaBelle’s signature tunes. The song was a hit on the R&B charts, reaching number two, and it also crossed over to the pop charts, peaking at number seventy-five. The song’s success helped to solidify LaBelle’s status as a leading soul and R&B artist of the 1980s.
10. “The Right Kinda Lover”
“The Right Kinda Lover” is a song by Patti LaBelle, released in 1994 as the lead single from her album “Gems.” The song was written by Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, who were also the producers. It’s an upbeat R&B track with a catchy chorus that showcases LaBelle’s powerhouse vocals. The song’s lyrics speak about finding the perfect kind of love, where both partners are able to support and understand each other. The song received critical acclaim for its uplifting message and LaBelle’s vocal performance.
The music video for the song features LaBelle in various glamorous outfits, singing and dancing on a futuristic set. The video’s choreography was praised for its energetic and intricate moves. “The Right Kinda Lover” became a moderate hit, peaking at number 37 on the US Billboard Hot 100 and reaching the top ten on the US Billboard R&B chart. The song’s success helped the “Gems” album to reach gold certification in the United States. Overall, “The Right Kinda Lover” is a testament to Patti LaBelle’s lasting impact on R&B music, and a fan-favorite among her many hits.