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Patti LaBelle had a very public snafu during the 2023 BET Awards on Sunday night (June 25). Midway through the event, the R&B and soul legend covered “The Best” by the late Tina Turner, who died on May 24th. Performing Turner’s 1989 single “The Best,” LaBelle sounded out of sync with background vocalists and stumbled through the song’s lyrics. “Oh Lord,” the 79-year-old exclaimed before acknowledging an issue reading the teleprompter.

“Whatever, I can’t see the words, I don’t know,” she went on to say. As the audience cheered her on despite the awkwardness, a BET spokesperson notified The Hollywood Reporter about the issue. “It was an extraordinary privilege to celebrate the life and legacy of Ms. Tina Turner at BET Awards 2023,” they said in a statement. “Having the incomparable Ms. Patti LaBelle on our stage honoring one of her contemporaries was an equal privilege. 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.”

Over the weekend, LaBelle announced her Turner tribute, promising that she would honor the rock ‘n’ roll icon “in a performance that promises to be nothing short of extraordinary.”

Some viewers recalled that the performance was similar to LaBelle’s appearance at the National Christmas Tree Lighting ceremony in 1996. At the event, she gave a mishap rendition of Donny Hathaway’s “This Christmas,” nervously alerting the cue cards handler to turn the cards and asking for background singers.


Patti LaBelle- Where My Background Singers?

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