IT'S FRIDAY! Watch Patti LaBelle Struggle Through 'This Christmas'
IT'S FRIDAY! is a weekly dose of fun to help you forget about the week that was and to nudge you into the weekend with a smile. Check back every week for a little bit of Friday frivolity!
Some music fans wonder why so many artists choose to lip-sync when they perform on live television. If anyone can give them one good reason, it’s the legendary Patti LaBelle.
The diva probably still wishes she had lip-synced at the National Christmas Tree Lighting ceremony in Washington, D.C. in 1996. A few years before camera phones and nearly a decade before social media, just about everything that could go wrong for LaBelle went wrong. It made Mariah Carey's NYE 2017 fumble look like nothing.
First, she walked out on stage upon hearing her name announced (who can blame her?) only to find out there was more of an introduction to come. Cue the awkward dash off stage.
Finally at the mic, LaBelle seemed caught off guard as the band began to play “This Christmas.” She also noticed that she was all alone.
“Where my background singers?” she asked, about 30 seconds into the song.
LaBelle fumbled her way through the lyrics before finally telling the audience: “It’s the wrong words on the cue cards… I don’t know this song!”
Ever the pro (although, admittedly, she should have learned the song), she bravely carried on – singing ad-libbed lyrics about missing words and background singers.
“Oh my God,” LaBelle said as she frantically motioned for the cue card guy. “Next card! Next card!”
Finally, her backing vocalists appeared on stage. LaBelle gave the audience a lot of exasperated looks – but still hit the high notes – before she struggled to read the name of the soloist.
Mercifully (for her), LaBelle delivered a big finish and, looking like she would rather be anywhere but on the stage, she is joined by the Clintons.
“You saved my day,” LaBelle told them. “No more singing for me, honey. I already blew.” (Perhaps a bad choice of words around Bill Clinton).
LaBelle, it turns out, returned to the National Christmas Tree Lightning ceremony in 2014 to perform for president Barack Obama.
Watch LaBelle’s disastrous 1996 performance below.
And, this holiday season, if you find yourself forgetting the words to a Christmas song, just blurt out: “Where my background singers?!”