Throughout her storied career, Patti LaBelle has always had something hot cooking. This year is no different for the 73-year old entertainer who has a new book, album and two television shows on her plate.
In her just released fifth book, “Desserts LaBelle: Soulful Sweets to Sing About,” she pays homage to her family members by sharing stories and recipes passed down through generations.
Here you will find the clan’s inventive takes on popovers, chicken and waffles, corn pudding and yes, the sweet potato pie!
Before she did the book, LaBelle knew people would wonder how she could take on such a venture while being a diabetic and she is ready with an explanation.
“Everything you see in the book you can improvise,” she told Tasty Clips. “I didn’t want people to think I was being a hypocrite by writing this 75 dessert book. When I make it for myself, it’s with sugar substitutes, less butter and anything that’s dangerous for a diabetic.”
We enjoyed a hearty laugh over her secret to the perfect brunch — The three Bs. “Bacon, biscuits and bloody Marys,” she said. “And then a lot of gossip. Instead of drinking the tea, we pour the tea.”
Her new album, “Bel Hommage,” finds the Grammy Award winner tackling a new genre at the persistence of her ex-husband — jazz.
“As a kid growing up, my brother use to play Moody’s Mood and Dakota Staton and Nina Simone, so I was aware of all the wonderful jazz singers back in the day,” LaBelle said. “I’d never done it before and wasn’t sure if I could do it well enough so that I wouldn’t be embarrassed. But finally I said yes and started doing [songs including “Peel Me a Grape” and Shirley Horn’s classic “Here’s To Life.”]
On the television side, look for more episodes this fall of “Patti LaBelle’s Place” for the Cooking Channel and a role in Star Jones’ VH1 adaptation of her novel “Daytime Divas.”
“I play the mother of this gentleman in a relationship with Vanessa Williams, who owns the show,” she said. “And of course, I’m all busy into their business.”
With the recent spate of biopics in the works, surely her story on screen would make for great viewing.
“Well I have two ladies who have said they would like to do my life,” offered the legend, “and that’s Sam Jackson’s wife, LaTanya Richardson Jackson and the girl from “Power,” Naturi Naughton. I have no clue who would end up doing me, but I love them both.”
When asked if there was anyone left in the industry she hasn’t had a duet with, her answer could only leave us wanting. “I’d love to sing with Aretha Franklin,” LaBelle said. “I sang for her at the Essence Festival, but we’ve never done anything together.”
Somebody please make that happen!
CLIPPETTES: A fully authorized documentary on the life of acclaimed hip-hop artist, writer and poet Tupac Shakur, to be directed by Academy Award-winning director Steve McQueen (“12 Years a Slave”), has been greenlighted …
The M.E. Tour featuring Marsha Ambrosius and Eric Benét arrives at the Wiltern on May 26; while over at the Globe, Kiss n Grind returns with resident DJ Viktor Duplaix and special guest Doug E. Fresh …
War and Los Lonely Boys with Paul Rodriquez arrive May 27 at the Greek Theatre. Also that evening, Teedra Moses performs her hits at an All-White Affair at the Crowne Plaza LAX …
John Legend: Darkness & Light Tour with Gallant sets up May 28 and 29 at the Greek …
Sasheer Zamata, the “Saturday Night Live” hire in the face of cast diversity issues four years ago, is leaving the show along with Bobby Moynihan and Vanessa Bayer …
The Hustle Gang Tour starring T.I. opens at the Belasco Theater on May 29 …
June 1 finds Roadcase Royale, the new group fronted by former Prince vocalist Liv Warfield and Nancy Wilson of Heart, at the Canyon in Agoura Hills.
TC ON TV: May 27 – “Autopsy: The Last Hours of …” (Reelz): Natalie Cole.
May 28 – “National Memorial Day Concert” (PBS): Lawrence Fishburne, Vanessa Williams, Gary Sinise and Ret. Gen. Colin L. Powell.
May 29 – “Michael Jackson: Searching For Neverland” (Lifetime): Told through the eyes of the King of Pop’s trusted bodyguards portrayed by Chad Coleman and Sam Adegoke. “Still Star-Crossed” (ABC): Shonda Rhimes presents this period drama exploring what happened to the Capulets and Montagues after the deaths of Romeo and Juliet.
May 30 – “House of Cards” (Netflix): Frank and Claire are back for a complete third season of political intrigue. “World of Dance” (NBC): Jennifer Lopez and NE-YO get judgmental in this competition series. “Fear Factor” (MTV): Ludacris joins the eighth season as host.
May 31 – “Masterchef” “The F Word with Gordon Ramsey” (Fox): The chef gets a two-hour programming block. “National Urban League Presents The State of Black America” (TV1): Roland Martin moderates this panel featuring Michael Eric Dyson, Angela Rye, Toure, Jeff Johnson and others. “The Carmichael Show” (NBC): A second season of the controversial sitcom begins with the subject of slavery.
TASTY QUIP: “It’s always been on my heart. I just never got around to it because I always be doing gangsta business or doing this or doing that. I need to do it now. Me, Faith Evans, we talked about it heavily. All of the people that I know, from Charlie Wilson to Jeffrey Osborne, whoever I really want to get down with. I’m gonna make it all the way right. It’s gonna feel good.” – SNOOP DOGG on his desire to next make a gospel album on Beats 1’s “The Pharmacy”
As featured in the Los Angeles Wave and Independent, Tasty Clips is one of the leading entertainment newspaper columns on the West Coast, serving nearly one million weekly readers. To reach Bill Vaughan, send email to firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter @tastyclips.