Patti LaBelle, the singer and actress best known for “Out All Night,” confessed that singer Jackie Wilson tried to abuse her in the 60s.
LaBelle wrote about the incident in her book “Don’t Block the Blessings,” released in 1996. In it, she revealed that it happened backstage at a theater where she was with her group the Bluebelles.
The singer was alone, and she felt that someone, later identified as Jackie Wilson, came up behind her. The man started kissing her neck, and she could smell the liquor on his breath.
“As I struggled to free myself, Jackie’s accomplice started dragging me in backwards. I was kicking with all my might, but I was no match for him,” added LaBelle, who ended up locked in a room with Wilson.
She said that Wilson started touching her and all she could do was scream as loud as possible. Since nobody could hear her, she screamed even louder, “and I can scream every bit as loud as I can sing.”
Even though nobody heard, it was enough to make Wilson and his accomplice back off and let her go. LaBelle wrote that she ran as fast as she could to where the lights were, and nothing else happened that night.
Sadly, it was not the only difficult situation LaBelle had to go through. From 1975 to 1989, she lost all three of her sisters to cancer. Thankfully, she found one way to live with he heartache: throwing herself into her work.
She was used to doing so as a coping mechanism as she would sing her “heart out” in front of the mirror at seven or eight years old when she was an insecure child with a “big nose and nappy hair” whose parents battled regularly.
When LaBelle was 12, her parents got divorced. Soon later, a friend of her mother molested her. Again, she left all that behind and focused on her music. Years later, she formed the Elmtones, her first group.
LaBelle wrote that she ran as fast as she could to where the lights were.
After a while, she worked next to the BlueBelles for more than a decade and, in 1977, she left the group and embarked on a solo career which has been hugely acclaimed, too.
Throughout her career, she has been nominated to two Emmy Awards, has won two Grammys, and she was inducted in the Grammy Hall of Fame in 2004.