In this special edition of 5 Songs, it’s a celebration of the birthdays of Patti LaBelle (May 25) and Gladys Knight (May 28). The two living legends have a combined 120 plus years of experience in show business. They are standard bearers of the unmatched skill and discipline Black performers brought to the stage across musical genres that shaped the last 60 years of American popular music.
The first iteration of Gladys Knight and the Pips started when Gladys Knight was eight years old. Patti LaBelle made her Apollo Theater debut with The Blue Belles in 1962 at the age of 18.
“Music is my life. That’s what I do, not for a living, but for a life.”-Patti LaBelle
“Soul music is really in essence music that touches the inner spirit, that core.”-Gladys Knight