Patti LaBelle Blames Her Cold For Ruining Her Tina Turner Tribute

Patti LaBelle has shared details about a misunderstanding during the Tina Turner tribute show.

LaBelle performed ‘The Best’ at the 2023 BET Awards on Sunday to pay tribute to Tina Turner, who passed away last month. Although the singer struggled to keep up with the lyrics due to a teleprompter issue, she didn’t mention the teleprompter but instead said she was sick. She explained:

“It meant no matter what voice I’m in — I’m hoarse, I have a cold — but whatever, I had to, I was giving it up for Tina Turner ’cause she’s simply the best. So you heard a little tweak every now and then out there, but I love her, and I did my best.”

While performing, LaBelle took a brief pause and confessed that she was experiencing difficulty with reading the teleprompter. Forgetting the lyrics, she told the audience:

“I can’t see the words and I don’t know. I’m trying, y’all!”

During the performance, LaBelle questioned where her backup singers were. Despite her struggles, the singer was able to catch back up with the teleprompter and her backup singers for the song’s chorus. LaBelle was later criticized on social media for not knowing the lyrics and for the inconvenience.

After the show, a spokesperson for BET and a representative for LaBelle referred to a statement issued by the network, clarifying the confusion. The statement is as follows:

“[…] Due to the crowd’s enthusiasm, the teleprompter was obstructed, obscuring Ms. LaBelle’s view of the lyrics. Nonetheless, we couldn’t be more grateful to Ms. LaBelle for lending her incredible talent to this moment.”

Turner lost her life at the age of 83, due to the illness she had been battling over the years. LaBelle was among the many names to pay tribute to Turner on social media. Her statement read:

“Tina, the world will forever be grateful for your voice, your fearlessness, and your grace. You truly are the Queen of Rock & Roll and your spirit will reign forever! Rest in eternal peace and love!”

You can see the performance down below.