INTERVIEW: Patti LaBelle Says Her Next Venture Is to Record With Adele
Patti LaBelle has been enjoying a new round of publicity of late, thanks in no small part to her Patti LaBelle-branded sweet potato pies at Walmart and the viral video that helped the mega-chain sell 2.3 million pies in one weekend. We caught up with the Wynnewood resident on Monday afternoon to talk about the pie business, Questlove and Adele.
Last time we spoke, I think I had 45 minutes. This time, just 10. Are you just in constant Patti LaBelle pie publicity mode these days? It’s not pie publicity. It’s just Patti publicity. The pie sure has a great thing to do with that. Thank God for my friend James who made that viral video. The pies were doing really well before that, but thank God he did that.
How did you first get wind of the James Wright video? I was performing in London last week, and my friend showed me the beautiful video, said he was really loving my pie. I called him the next night in London and spoke with him. He lives in Los Angeles. He’s a singer, a cook, a comedian. I guess everything. He’s an everything man.
Loved the video but didn’t show it to the kids, because he does drop some language on it. I know. When I heard it, I had to listen again. Did he call me a B? I know he’s loving me, but oh, James, you have to watch your little mouth, baby. He goes deep on some other things I’ve seen, as well. Now, I do curse, but I don’t let it leave the house.
I only curse out of the house. My wife doesn’t tolerate the cursing, around the kids or otherwise. Well, your wife will never hear me curse. And James will never curse again when talking about Patti. I’m going to meet him today. He’s going to be in Philly for five days, and we’re going to do some wonderful things. I invited him to Thanksgiving dinner, and he’s open.
$3.48 for a pie seems too cheap, let alone for a pie with the name Patti LaBelle on it. Don’t you think you could have sold as many pies for $4.48? You’d still be under $5. That’s still really cheap. I know that it’s hard times out there, and I wanted my pie to be so affordable that more people could afford it. I don’t need to make any money off of the pies, of course. I could have sold it for $10, but why do that? Don’t gouge the people.
What’s next on Patti LaBelle product line? I have the bedding line in Macy’s, and there’s macaroni and cheese coming to Walmart. Also some pies with agave, for the diabetics. I’m a diabetic. They had to put the sweet girl on the market first, because that’s what was ready. I’m going to have a lot more products in Walmart. I can’t say all of them, because the line has not been crossed on that “t.” The “i” has not been dotted.
For those of us who couldn’t get a pie before they sold out … Some Walmarts still have them. Where do you live?
Overbrook. Oh, that’s true. None in this area.
So for those who couldn’t get a sweet potato pie, any tips for the home baker? Victor, darling, follow your grandmother’s or mother’s recipe. My pies aren’t the last pies in the world, that’s for freaking sure.
In a video for Okayplayer, Questlove said that you have quite the reputation for promising to cook for people and never following through. Any response? Last week, I did the Meredith Vieira Show, which is across from Jimmy Fallon. Whenever I go into that building, I always see Quest. So I invited him to dinner this Thursday. I asked him who he wanted to bring, and he told me, Miss Patti, I am going to just bring me and a to-go container.
So getting away from food for a second, what’s upcoming on the music front? I have a new project that I just finished off, and I should have it be released next year.
With a tour? I’ll be touring for the rest of my freaking life. Thank you very much, darling Victor.
If I can just get one more question in, I was curious how you felt about the new Adele release that everyone is gushing over. Oh, 25. Oh my God. I love it. My next venture is to record with her, and when we’re done recording, I am going to feed her some pie.
Is the Adele project a done deal? Has she said yes? Not yet. But I know it’s going to happen.
I can’t wait. Thanks, Patti. Thanks, baby.
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