During an appearance on Busy Tonight with Busy Philipps, legendary soul singer Patti LaBelle revealed how she mentored Mariah Carey, her goddaughter, early on in the “All I Want For Christmas Is You” singer’s career. In addition, LaBelle offered industry advice to young female singers in 2019, according to E! News.
“Mariah is my goddaughter. I had to slap her every now and then,” LaBelle explained. “She’s so phenomenal and so good, she doesn’t need to be slapped anymore. That’s my baby.”
LaBelle has been a mentor to many other huge stars today, including Beyonce and Mary J. Blige. The “If You Only Knew” singer said that her biggest piece of advice to artists today is to “keep their clothes on.”
“I hate saying this but… keep your clothes on,” LaBelle said. “That’s all. You know, that talent will show if it’s in, you don’t have to do this and do that to show that.”
At 74, LaBelle sees no end in sight for her career just yet. The singer is about to embark on her 18th tour at the end of January. During her visit with Philipps, LaBelle explained how she keeps herself going — even after 55 years of touring and performing.
“This is what God has blessed me with. And so… when I’m out there really feeling like ‘I can’t do this anymore,’ I think of all of my blessings,” LaBelle explained. “I’ve been in this business for that many years, so I say ‘I’m not tired yet.’ I gotta keep on keepin’ on.”
Later in the show, LaBelle spoke about her long-running friendship with fellow musician Elton John. according to People. She explained that she knew him at first as Reginald Dwight, and that he used to play piano for her. They had lived in London at the same time, and she knew he and his band were hungry — so she often sent food home with them.
The next time she saw John, he had already started his rise to fame. He invited her to come see him perform, and LaBelle assumed that he was opening for another act. Instead, it was his own show.
She joked that there was no way John could have jump-started his career before she did. However, she knew that his fame meant that he could finally return her Tupperware from all those times that she had sent food home with him.
Instead of paying LaBelle back in Tupperware, he paid her back with a shiny diamond ring.