Patti LaBelle’s sweet potato pies might be delicious, but her decadent dessert can’t beat the sweet treat that “Pie Guy” James Wright scored this Thanksgiving: He got the chance to sing with Patti LaBelle. Patti was so thankful for the YouTube star’s glowing review of her mass-produced sweet potato pies that she invited the Pie Guy over for Thanksgiving dinner.
Earlier this month, James Wright became an overnight sensation by sharing a YouTube video that shows him literally singing the praises of Patti LaBelle’s sweet potato pies. James decided to record himself opening up one of Patti’s pies and tasting it for the first time, and the resulting video has it all: There’s singing, comedy, and pure, unadulterated joy. Wright sings a few bars of Patti LaBelle’s “On My Own,” jokingly refers to his beloved sweet potato pie as “Patti,” and uses him impressive voice to let his viewers know just how much he appreciates the dessert.
“You’ll turn into Patti after eating this,” Wright jokes in the video below.
According to Zap2It, Patti LaBelle recently returned James Wright’s love by inviting him to join her for Thanksgiving. On his Facebook page, Wright gushed about how great it was to meet his idol for turkey, dressing, shrimp and lobster, mac and cheese, and more of Patti’s sweet potato pies.
“Some things in life are way more priceless then money. I didn’t do the video for money, I didn’t do the video because I felt like Patti LaBelle has to pay me for this video, I did the video simply because this was a woman I looked up to and still look up to and a woman that I respect,” the “Pie Guy” wrote.
“I’m honored that I was personally asked by Miss Patti LaBelle to come to her house and have Thanksgiving dinner with her and her family and her friends.”
November 26 just happened to be Wright’s birthday, so Patti serenaded him with a rendition of the birthday song. She also gifted Wright with a Louis Vuitton bag and shared a dance with the YouTube star.
Patti LaBelle wasn’t being quite as generous to the Pie Guy last week. According to TMZ, the “Lady Marmalade” singer refused to give credit where credit was due when a TMZ cameraman asked her about the positive effect that James Wright’s video had on her sweet potato pie sales. The treats started flying off of Walmart store shelves after Wright’s video went viral, but LaBelle claimed that she was the only reason her pies started selling so well.
“I did it myself,” Patti said. She also claimed that her sweet potato pies were selling out at Walmart before Wright made his video. However, other reports suggested that this simply wasn’t the case — NPR reported that Patti’s pies were a “hard sell” before Wright came along and started belting out LaBelle songs while taste-testing the sweet treats. According to CNBC, a spokesperson for Walmart said that searches for the sweet potato pie went up 2,000 percent on the company’s website after Wright’s video went viral, and Walmart sold the equivalent of one pie per second during a 72-hour time period. Some enterprising eBay users even tried to profit from the pies’ popularity by reselling them online for hundreds and even thousands of dollars.
— Global Grind (@GlobalGrind) November 20, 2015
According to the Boombox, some Twitter users bashed Patti LaBelle for initially refusing to acknowledge that Wright’s review played a huge part in her pies’ success. Many users revealed that they didn’t even know the desserts existed until they saw Wright’s video.
Luckily, Patti LaBelle eventually realized that she was mistaken. Earlier this week, the singer finally admitted that it was James Wright’s “fierce video” that took her sweet potato pies “over the top.” According to Vibe, she appeared on Good Day Philadelphia to announce that she and Wright would be spending Thanksgiving together.
“You give love to people who give you love,” Patti said.
Are you happy that Patti LaBelle has finally done something to repay the Pie Guy for turning her sweet treat into this Thanksgiving’s must-have dessert?
[Photo by Cindy Ord/Getty Images for ALA]