Currently alive, at 76 years of age.
1944 – Patricia Louise Holt born in Philadelphia on the 24th of May, she grew up singing in a local Baptist choir. Soul Diva Patti LaBelle enjoyed one of the longest-lived careers in contemporary music, notching hits in a variety of sounds ranging from girl group pop to space-age funk to lush ballads.
1960 – Teamed with friend Cindy Birdsong to form a group called The Ordettes. A year later, following the additions of vocalists Nona Hendryx and Sarah Dash, and the group was rechristened The Blue Belles.
1962 – With producer Bobby Martin at helm, they scored a Top 20 pop and R&B hit with the single "I Sold My Heart to the Junkman," subsequently hitting the charts with renditions of "Danny Boy" and "You’ll Never Walk Alone."
1965 – The quartet – now known as Patti LaBelle and the Blue Belles – signed to Atlantic, where they earned a minor hit with their version of the standard "Somewhere Over the Rainbow."
1967 – The group’s Atlantic tenure was largely disappointing, however, and Cindy Birdsong replaced Florence Ballard in The Supremes.
1970 – The remaining trio toured the so-called Chitlin Circuit for the remainder of the decade before signing on with British manager Vicki Wickham.
1971 – Wickham renamed the group simply Labelle and pushed their music in a more funky, rock-oriented direction, and in the wake of their self-titled Warner Bros. debut they even toured with The Who. (The trio also collaborated with Laura Nyro on her superb R&B-influenced album Gonna Take a Miracle.)
1973 – She had gone glam, taking the stage in wildly theatrical, futuristic costumes; a year later they became the first African-American act ever to appear at New York’s Metropolitan Opera House, a landmark performance which also introduced their lone chart-topping single, the Allen Toussaint-produced classic "Lady Marmalade."
1975 – After two more albums, Phoenix and the following year’s Chameleon – Labelle disbanded, and its namesake mounted a solo career, issuing her eponymous debut.
1979 – In addition to subsequent releases including It’s Alright with Me.
1980 – She also turned to acting, co-starring in a Broadway revival of Your Arms to Short to Box with God.
1983 – Upon signing with the Philadelphia International label, LaBelle scored a number one R&B hit with "If You Only Knew," from I’m in Love Again.
1986 – Two years later, she reached the pop Top 20 with her Beverly Hills Cop soundtrack contribution "New Attitude."
1989 – Her subsequent MCA debut, Winner in You, went platinum on the strength of the Burt Bacharach-penned "On My Own," a duet with Michael McDonald, while the follow-up, Be Yourself, featured a pair of cuts written by Prince. 1991’s Burnin’ earned a Grammy for Best Female R&B Performance.
1995 – Recorded less and less frequently in the years to follow, however, publishing her autobiography Don’t Block the Blessings: Revelations of a Lifetime. She returned five years later to release When A Woman Loves. Three more books would follow. Her latest album is entitled Timeless Journey.