James Wright Chanel probably had no idea that eating pie would make all his dreams come true. But that seems to be the case for the exuberant dessert fan, whose video singing — literally — the praises of Patti LaBelle's Wal-Mart sweet potato pie went viral last month.
Not only was James offered a seat at Miss LaBelle's Thanksgiving table, now she's invited him to star in a holiday cooking special for The Cooking Channel with her.
“It’s one of those blessed stories,” LaBelle tells People. “For his birthday, which is Thanksgiving, we were at my home. I invited him to dinner before I even met him." In fact, she says, their first meeting was on the set of the show. “It was his first time seeing me, so when he came into the kitchen, he saw me and my back was turned. He came up behind me and he had on these beautiful leopard pants and a necklace,” the singer says. “We just had a love moment.”
Now, LaBelle says she and Chanel are as thick as thieves. “He’s such a larger than life person himself; he’s like my new son," she says. "It’s just a blessing when people come into your life like this and you’re not expecting anything.”
But the fun doesn't stop there. LaBelle also confirms that Chanel will take the stage with her at some point in the near future. “We’re going to perform in more ways than one. He can be my lead singer and I’ll be his background singer."
Of course, Chanel deserves all the rewards after his video helped Patti's pies fly off the shelves. Looks like this has been a surprisingly wonderful holiday season for them both.
Watch Miss LaBelle talk to BET.com about pies, viral videos and more, below:
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