Without question, Patti LaBelle is one of the greatest vocalists that the world has ever known. On top of all that, she is a Philly icon. To celebrate all of her many accomplishments, the city of Philadelphia honored Ms. Patti LaBelle by naming a street in her honor.
A stretch of Broad Street was renamed “Patti LaBelle Way” during a ceremony Tuesday. The 200 block of Broad Street is now Patti LaBelle Way. A street sign making it official has been erected at the corner of Spruce Street, right across from the Kimmel Center for the Arts.
“For the span of her career, Patti LaBelle has been a star, an icon, and a legend,” said Mayor Jim Kenney. “She has always stayed true to her roots as a Philadelphian. She’s proud to be from Philadelphia.”
Several members of City Council presented an official city proclamation. “We’re not going to read it,” said Councilman Mark Squilla, “because the most exciting thing is waiting for Patti to come up.”
“The Godmother of Soul” thanked the large numbers of fans who were jam-packed in the intersection and treated them to an impromptu rendition of her hit “Love, Need and Want You.”
“My sister Jackie worked at PIR [Philadelphia International Records] right on this street. She walked it every day,” said LaBelle. “My niece Stacey had a house right here. My mother and father, before they passed, would walk this street. OK?”
“You have a dream, don’t ever think that anything is too big for you, that you’re not worthy of everything,” she said. “Don’t ever get up in the morning and say nothing happened. Work that day, honey, like it’s the last day of your life, because you can get it all.”
Check out a clip of the ceremony honoring Patti LaBelle below.