Patti LaBelle Calls Divas "Little Heifers Who Can't Sing"

Music legend blasts new-school female singers.

Posted: 01/24/2014 11:00 AM EST
Patti LaBelle

Patti LaBelle is many things, but she wouldn't call herself a "diva." 

The 69-year-old singer shunned the title in an interview with Pride Source, and called out the new school for damaging the word's meaning.

"That word is used so loosely that I don't even consider myself a diva," she said. "I always considered myself a woman who sings her heart out and who gives 120 percent. [But] diva is a word that I wouldn't wanna call myself because it's so loosely used. It's not cute anymore ... all these little heifers who can't sing are called divas."

LaBelle then nods to more powerhouse vocalists who have been donned with the diva moniker — before the term was watered down. "It doesn't mean anything to me and probably to some of the other ladies who have been doing it for as long as I have: Gladys Knight, Aretha Franklin, Dionne Warwick," she said.

No matter how harsh the opinion, however, LaBelle asserted that she is only sharing her viewpoint, not that of the aforementioned. "I'm speaking for me — I don't know if they like to be called divas, but I know I wouldn't call them divas because it's not in good company."

Later in the interview, LaBelle discussed her new releases. This year, the two-time Grammy-winner plans to unveil jazz and dance albums, as well as a project full of ballads.  

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 (Photo: Donald Kravitz/Getty Images)

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