"We used to do hot dogs at the Apollo Theater between shows," said LaBelle. "We would put them on the light bulb to keep them warm, because I spent all my money in gambling. I used to gamble with the Four Tops -- lost all my money!"
Smith asked, "When did you guys know that you'd made it?"
"I think the first time playing the Apollo was really, like, a big thing for us," said Hendryx.
"And then having, finally, on the Billboard [chart] a number one single, which was 'Lady Marmalade,'" said Dash. "That is the time that I felt that we really felt like we made it."
But they disagreed on where to go next, and within two years, Patti was, reluctantly, on her own.
Smith asked, "Was there a time, especially when you guys broke up as a band, did you think maybe you wouldn't be that close again?"
"I never wanted to sing solo," said LaBelle. "I had to see a shrink before I did that. Because I always looked at Sara and Nona on stage. And, you know, we rolled together. And if anything happened it was the three of us to blame. Now, if anything goes wrong, it's just me! And I was petrified!"
"So you literally had to go get psychological help in order to sing alone?" Smith asked?
"Yeah. Patti didn't wanna be a solo singer!"
You might say she got over it.
And earlier this year she nearly brought down the (White) House when she was invited to sing for the president.
Whether she's cooking or singing, it seems Patti LaBelle's heart is always full.
"I almost get the sense from you that you feel like you can't complain about anything," said Smith.
"I better not!" replied LaBelle.
No? "No. Because, you know, anything can be snatched from you. Don't complain about the small stuff. I am so blessed, it makes me want to cry, honest to God. And I caught myself complaining earlier -- I said, 'Girlfriend, you can't complain, you just say thank God!'"
For more info: