Patti Labelle Fought With Ex-Husband Over New Jazz Album
Patti LaBelle was so against the idea of recording a jazz album she bickered with her producer ex-husband Armstead Edwards when he first proposed the project. The Lady Marmalade icon has just launched Bel Hommage, a collection of jazz covers, and she credits her former spouse with convincing her to tackle the genre – even though she refused to even entertain the thought at the start of their discussions.
“I would never have done a jazz album unless my ex-husband came begging me (sic),” Patti LaBelle confessed on U.S. talk show The View.
“He said…, ‘You have to do this jazz,'” she recalled. “I said, ‘I don’t want to mess up nobody’s music (sic).’ You’re always afraid of doing something that you’ve never done… We fought about it, but anyways, it’s done.”
Bel Hommage is Patti’s first album in 10 years, the follow-up to 2007’s festive release Miss Patti’s Christmas, and despite her initial reservations, the veteran star has since fallen “in love” with her latest material.
But it was a long and emotional journey for the former couple: “There’s a lot of laughs, joy, and pain in that album,” she told Variety.com.
“I just didn’t like how I sounded,” Patti LaBelle continued. “My voice wasn’t being kind to me. I knew I could be better. I didn’t think I could do it, but Armstead said…, ‘I know you have it in you.’ So I did it, and was in it to win it. Now, it sounds more beautiful than I ever imagined.”
Patti and Armstead, who share three sons, were married from 1969 until 2003, and although their personal relationship didn’t work out, they have remained close professionally, with her ex-husband serving as the executive producer of Bel Hommage.