Patti LaBelle brings her vibrant personality and powerful voice to her career as a singer and actress. However, the Godmother of Soul has a wide-ranging catalogue of talents, not least of which is her prowess in the kitchen. LaBelle recently shared with PEOPLE her feelings on cooking for others, and it only made us love her more.
The Godmother of Soul
Born in Philadelphia, LaBelle is an icon of soul music, famous for her impressive solo career. She has won multiple Grammy Awards, along with releasing countless beloved albums from Winner in You to Miss Patti's Christmas and Live! One Night Only. LaBelle acted in a number of successful TV shows, along with having a large role in the Oscar nominated film A Soldier's Story.
At 70, the soul music icon danced in Dancing with the Stars, and she also had incredible success with her own brand of bedding, cookbooks and food. Her Patti's Sweet Potato Pie sold millions, and in a 72-hour period Walmart sold one pie each second! Along with this, Patti LaBelle has written a number of books, from her memoir Don't Block the Blessings to her cookbooks full of mouthwatering soul food recipes.
Patti LaBelle's Cookbooks
From her book Recipes for the Good Life to The New Soul Food Cookbook For People With Diabetes, Patti LaBelle's cookbooks feature easy recipes for every day and elaborate, crowd-pleasing options for special occasions. Along with comfort food, she includes healthier, "diabetic-friendly" recipes in some of her books, since she was diagnosed with diabetes in her 50's.
Some Patti LaBelle favorite dishes are her Say-My-Name Smothered Chicken, Fierce Fried Corn, Brisket Pot Pies and Make-You-Wanna-Holler Maryland Crab Cakes. She also has delicious sides, from her Over-the-Rainbow Macaroni and Cheese to her potato salad. Not to mention, her Wicked Peach Cobbler, banana pudding and famous sweet potato pie are hard to resist.
20th Anniversary of Recipes to Sing About
Last week, the 77-year-old singer celebrated the 20th anniversary of of her New York Times bestseller, LaBelle Cuisine: Recipes to Sing About. LaBelle loves cooking and puts her heart into it, whether she's making mac and cheese or fried chicken.
As Patti LaBelle shares with PEOPLE, "I cook to be happy and I cook to make people happy. And when I feed you, if you don't ask for seconds or takeout, I'm going to be angry, because it's from my soul. I give it like I'm doing a show. When I cook, it's like a concert on the stove to me."
LaBelle also feels that being a great cook has many benefits, from making others happy to improving her mental and physical health. "I think it's helped with my skin, my attitude," she says. "Because when you eat great food, you feel good. And I eat great food from morning until night."
Patti LaBelle also has certain expectations of those she cooks for, and if you break the rules, you won't be invited back "When I put all that joy and feeling in it, please say you like it. And if you don't like it, say you love it. But never say 'I don't like it.' You can't come back!"
The 20th edition of LaBelle's beloved cookbook will have three new recipes; "a bangin' fish, a lobster and shrimp cake, [and] a quarantine chicken recipe."