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The Service to America Leadership Award recognizes individuals and organizations responsible for improving the lives of others through extraordinary public service. It is the Foundation’s highest individual honor.
This year, award winning entertainer, author, entrepreneur and humanitarian Patti LaBelle will receive the Service to America Leadership Award from the NAB Leadership Foundation.
LaBelle’s work as a humanitarian is legendary. She is an advocate for adoption, foster care, Big Sisters and the United Negro College Fund, among many other initiatives. While she has reached the heights of success throughout her 60-plus year career, LaBelle has also endured and survived personal strife. Within a 10-year period, she lost her mother, three sisters and best friend to diabetes and cancer. In 1994, she was diagnosed with diabetes and shortly thereafter became a spokesperson for the American Diabetes Association.
It’s a small wonder that LaBelle has time for anything else in between her public service, recording and touring, but she has also written six books, “Don’t Block the Blessings,” “LaBelle Cuisine: Recipes to Sing About,” “Patti’s Pearls,” “Patti LaBelle’s Lite Cuisine,” “Recipes for the Good Life” and “Desserts LaBelle.” Recently, LaBelle released a 20th anniversary edition of her New York Times bestselling cookbook, “LaBelle Cuisine,” featuring three new recipes.
In 2007, she introduced Patti’s Good Life, a successful food and lifestyle brand that offers a variety of frozen comfort foods, breakfast items and desserts, including her world-famous sweet potato pie.
Always a person to take on new challenges, in 2017, LaBelle launched a record label, GPE Records, and released her first jazz album, “Bel Hommage.”
The same motivation that had Patricia Louise Holte blossom from a choir member to lead vocalist for Patti LaBelle & The Bluebelles and later Labelle, to a solo artist, is the same energy that keeps her fire burning at 78 years young. “Each year I grow, and that’s a blessing from God. I do what I can do. I do what I feel God has given me the energy to do, so I just go out there and I do it…it’s not about making money because I don’t need money, but I need to sing. With a voice or without, I’ve got to get on that stage.” And the world is thankful that LaBelle’s voice sounds so good to our ears.
The NAB Leadership Foundation thanks the partners and sponsors who make this program possible by investing in the future of broadcasting.