Patti LaBelle forgets lyrics as she performs Tina Turner tribute
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Featured Image Credit: BET
A tribute to Tina Turner took a turn for the worse as singer Patti LaBelle forgot the lyrics to one of the star’s iconic tracks.
The toe-curlingly awkward moment happened at the BET Awards on Sunday (25 June), with the 79-year-old taking to the stage in tribute to the late star.
In fact, LaBelle even had to improvise part of her performance during the annual awards ceremony in Los Angeles.
Donning a beaded fringe dress, LaBelle started singing, but soon came unstuck as she tried to remember the lyrics.
Squinting throughout the televised performance, she was also unable to see the teleprompter, causing her to struggle throughout the track.
Ever the entertainer, the ‘Lady Marmalade’ singer carried on and tried to remain positive as she tried to make light of the incident.
“Whatever, I can't see the words. I don't know. I'm trying, y'all!” the 79-year-old told the audience at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles.
Hyping up the crowd, she called out to them at the iconic chorus with attendees clapping along.
As the clip went viral online, Twitter users reacted harshly, as it’s not the first time the singer has struggled with lyrics.
Many commentators made reference to her 1996 performance at the National Tree Lighting ceremony – with the singer reading cue cards which apparently had 'the wrong words for the song', along with her backing dancers being MIA.
Sharing a short clip of the awkward moment, one Twitter user wrote: “Patti LaBelle versus teleprompters…a decades-long battle.”
Others vented their frustration over the misremembered lyrics, with another adding: ”Patti Labelle forgetting the lyrics to Tina Turner’s 'The Best' during a Tina Turner Tribute is wild business to me. Wild shame.”
A third even wrote: “Love love love my forever legendary Queen Patti Labelle, but this #BetAwards2023 Tina Turner Tribute was beyond disappointing to say the least. Definitely need more time to process this”
However, some viewers have leapt to the veteran performer’s defence, saying that producers should have been more accommodating of her.
“Don’t blame Miss Patti Labelle for the fiasco of a tribute to Tina Turner. All the blame needs to go to the producers of the #BETAwards,” pointedly wrote a fan.
“Twitter is going to light up Patti LaBelle for that tribute to Tina Turner when they should bow down and shut their mouths,” added another: “That woman is 79 years old and paved the way for just about every other singer in that room.”
UNILAD has contacted LaBelle’s representatives for comment.