"If you asked me to..."
Oh no she di'in't!
Yeah... she did...
Patti Labelle played the race card simply because she got outsung by Celine.
Labelle was suffering in Monte Carlo yesterday when she related to the press that the only reason Celine's version of "If You Asked Me To" made it all the way to number 4 on the Billboard Hot 100 Chart, while hers only made it to number 79 three years previous - was because she was a cracker...
"Why do I think Celine had the sales and I didn't? Because she's a white girl... You want me to be honest? That's why," Labelle told the MonacoRevue.
"People pay more respect to white artists who sing well before they do black women," she continued. "I've been singing for 45 years and that's an obstacle that I'm still ... I'm getting over it because I'm fabulous. You know, so you can't beat me up. You can't make me feel less than I am because whenever I get the microphone I'm gonna show you who I am. But the industry is very racist."
NOTE TO PATTI: A little dose of reality... Could it just be that Celine sang circles around you on the actual recordings? Let's test the theory - CLICK HERE to listen to both versions. Then fill in the blank.
"_________________" is the reason that Celine's version got to number 4 on the Hot 100.UPDATE:
Welcome to all the "Butterflies" who are flying by. Look argue all you want about the industry being rigged. Motown was developed by entrepeneurs specifically to counter what were at the time the types of prejudices Patti was referring to 20 years previous to her showdown over the single with Celine.
At the time that Celine's version of the song emerged - Celine was but a mere babe in the recording industry, barely spoke english and had no "industry heft" to toss around. Merely three years prior - LaBelle had more than just some. She was a catalyst and icon to the R&B, Pop, and Gospel communities across the world - and FAR MORE well known to the masses than Dion at that given time.
With her millions of dollars, legions of fans, and already firmly established industry presence - the only comparison between the two at the time - was that LaBelle was at the top of her game and Celine was merely beginning. (Not one gold record to her name at the point in time.)
IT IS LUDICROUS for LaBelle to argue that in the late 80's or early 90's that some upstart had more radio, marketing, branding cache. And if that was true - SHE should have fired her PR operation and found competent people.
Overlooked in all the "Kevin's just a racist, closeted Celine lover" stupidity is the fact that the arrangements - from a purely musical prespective are overwhelmingly similar. The voicings of the instruments on Celine's version have much more presence and pop to them. And most overwhelming is the clear command Celine's voice has of even the opening notes - much less the soaring bridge and final choruses down the stretch.
LaBelle - is and always has been a LEGEND. She will go down in the music hall of fame for doing what few could - sustain a legendary career over FIVE decades. But the reason her version of this song only made it to 79 on the Hot 100, and Celine's made it to 4 HAS NOTHING AT ALL TO DO with Celine being white.
It had to do with the product - and LaBelle's, on this individual song, at this one isolated place and time - was the inferior.
Be a true lady, admit that the other one - outsang you. Don't be some AlJesse wannabe and blame it on mysterious white people conspiracy theories. Deal with facts. Open your ears - and if you really think you could have done it better - then get back in the studio erase the original tracks and kick it...
And I say this as a former Radio Music programmer using my professional judgement of what would and would not have made a quality single.
Pro-musicians know that thick skin is a requirement in the industry. Taking criticism and making the most of it is the key to success... not making excuses.