Patti LaBelle is a musical legend. There’s no doubt about that.
She’s also been a long-time philanthropist and activated for some great causes. That said. Aunt Patti said something recently that has a lot of her fans, um, disappointed.
“I’m thrilled to be among so many wonderful friends to present this year’s ultimate honor to Billboard’s Woman of the Year. A young woman who has it all,” LaBelle said to Grande and the crowd. “She’s soulful, strong, and she’s just sensational. She’s all that and a bag of chips. She’s a giant talent who sings from the heart, as I learned when we sang together at the White House for President Obama and Mrs. Obama. She tore it down. Honestly, she can sing her face off.”
And then, the unexpected happened.
“She asked me some questions one time. Remember when we did the President’s stuff? And you said, ‘Patti, what should I do?’ I said sing like that little white/Black girl that you are. She got soul like a mug!” she said to Arianna, “My son told me not to say that, but it’s true.”
“Your son was probably right,” Grande replied, probably thinking about the social media s**t storm she knew was going to brew.
Aunt Patti, we love you so much, but nah. Really nah.
The joke that Ariana Grande is a “black queen” is not only disrespectful and tasteless but old and tired. She’s a talented singer but also incredibly problematic. The fact that Patti Labelle called her a “white black girl” is beyond disappointing. Just call her soulful and cut it pic.twitter.com/EnkgwfXnCY— Just Jade (@Jadie_Padie) December 7, 2018
patti labelle called ariana a white black girl.... black twitter is in shambles— festive little bitch™️ (@portugueseIove) December 7, 2018
patti labelle told ariana she's a white black woman on national television shssjsksj i screamed omg— 🌊 (@kissyouaIlover) December 7, 2018
legend patti labelle called this soul? she needs her hearing aid checked. love ariana but she’s not this soul singer y’all are trying to make her out to be. that’s OK, it’s an observation not a criticism. she has a lane, let’s let her stay in it. https://t.co/bGKxMIdosQ— ً (@breepeng) December 7, 2018
Patti Labelle called Ariana Grande a “white-black girl” nobody gonna check her?— Frigga (@LiLFridayHOE) December 8, 2018
Ariana can sing. Let’s leave it at that.
Watch Patti LaBelle present Ariana Grande with the 2018 Women of the Year award here.
Photo: Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for Billboard