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Snapshots: Patti LaBelle and Gladys Knight @ Wolf Trap — 6/8/24

Godmother of Soul Patti LaBelle and Empress of Soul Gladys Knight recently held court with a pairing of showstopping performances at the Filene Center at Wolf Trap. Steve Satzberg was there to photograph these legendary performers.

The following article is adapted from press materials.

On June 8 at Wolf Trap, Patti LaBelle and Gladys Knight performed such timeless hits as “Lady Marmalade,” “You Are My Friend,” “I Heard It Through the Grapevine,” and “Every Beat of My Heart.”

GRAMMY award-winning Patricia Louise Holt, best known as Patti LaBelle, began her career in the early 1960s as lead singer and frontwoman of the vocal group, Patti LaBelle and the Bluebelles. Following the group’s name change to LaBelle in the 1970s, they released the popular song, “Lady Marmalade”, which was later inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame. As a result, the group became the first African-American vocal group to land the cover of Rolling Stone magazine. Patti’s amazing multi-decade recording legacy is rife with No. 1 R&B and Pop smashes, heartfelt and memorable love songs, and a tremendous amount of crowd-pleasing public appearances.

Watch LaBelle perform “Lady Marmalade” in 1975 via YouTube:

Grammy award-winning Gladys Knight, known as the Empress of Soul, is known for the hits she recorded during the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s with her group The Pips, which also included her brother Merald “Bubba” Knight and cousins William Guest and Edward Patten.

Gladys talks enthusiastically about each of her songs as she describes the people and landscape in great detail, including the subtlest motivations that animate the characters. “When I write,” she said, “I try to paint a picture in my mind rather than come up with words that rhyme. I could never do a song that I didn’t believe in.”

“Every song has to touch me emotionally and spiritually in some way. I couldn’t do a song that I was cold about. Even if it were a hit, it just wouldn’t be a hit for me.”

Watch the official music video for “Love Overboard” by Gladys Knight and The Pips on YouTube:

In observations of the Juneteenth holiday, both musicians performs in a special concert at the White House on June 10.

Here are some photos of Patti LaBelle and Gladys Knight performing at Wolf Trap on June 8, 2024. All pictures copyright and courtesy of Steve Satzberg.

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