The music legend also opens up about coming up in the industry alongside Elton John and how he repaid her for feeding him and his band.
Busy Philipps got the thrill of her life when Ms. Patti LaBelle dropped by and proved she was willing to dish on anything, from Elton John owing her Tupperware to slapping Mariah Carey and even her "ugly" alter ego.
LaBelle has been a staple of the music industry for more than five decades, and the 74-year-old Godmother of Soul isn't slowing down anytime soon. She even took Busy Philipps on her offer to drive her to her next show in Los Angeles, because the Godmother never learned how to drive.
When you're Patti LaBelle, there's probably no shortage of people willing to pick you up.
The two women became fast friends on Thursday night's edition of "Busy Tonight," with Patti dishing on all kinds of things, and promising Busy even more stories to come. What we would give to be on that car ride ... talk about a real-life "Carpool Karaoke" opportunity!
When asked what kind of advice she gives to young up-and-coming singer, LaBelle said, "I hate saying this but, 'Keep your clothes on,'" she said with a laugh. But she was deadly serious. Sure, the Hollywood machine will eat up all that skin, but you don't need to show all of that to show your true gift.
There's some truth to that, because an artist needs to be known more for her voice and her talent than her young physique, because one will start to age out of Hollywood's interest while the other is eternal. It's a lesson she's given to everyone from Beyonce to Mary J. Blige and even her goddaughter Mariah Carey, to mixed results.
Of Mariah, she said, "I have to slap her every now and then. But she's so phenomenal and so good, she doesn't need to be slapped anymore. That's my baby."
She wasn't shy about sharing her "ugly" side, as she call it. She also calls Priscilla and treats her like she's a totally different personality.
"She's ugly. She's [a] very, very bad girl. I don't like her," LaBelle said. "She comes out whenever she has to ... When things are not done the way that I need to see them, I get a little Priscilla-ish. She comes out and she's not cute. And then I snap out of it, that other Gemini takes over and says, 'Patti don't do that.'"
Apparently this is just something Geminis do, according to LaBelle, who said that as a Gemini she has lots of different personalities lurking inside of her.
LaBelle also recalled the early days of her career when the man who would become Elton John used to be her piano player. Back then, they were both young and hungry musicians, and in his case that was sometimes literal. "He was hungry and his band was hungry, so I would give them food to take back to wherever they lived," she said of those early years.
But that quickly changed for John as his music career took off. She recalled when they reconnected one day. She didn't even fully realize that the Reginald Dwight who used to work with her had finally made it, asking him who he was opening for.
"He said, 'I'm not Reggie anymore, I'm Elton John.' I said, 'What? You made it before me, punk!?' And he did!" she laughed. "But then I knew that he had enough money to give me my Tupperware back."
LaBelle had stories about Richard Pryor buying her a car, and having to explain that to her husband, Prince catching one of her shoes at a concert (and the lengths she's gone to get them back) and why she's obsessed with true-crime stories and honestly we could listen to her talk for hours.
Check out more of her delightful stories in the clip below:
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