Date of Interview: 10/17/2008
© 2008 Clayton Perry
Before Destiny’s Child called on men to “say [their] name” or TLC announced their distaste for “scrubs,” Labelle exemplified the true meaning of “independent women.”
Unquestionably, every contemporary female R&B trio has been influenced by their style—whether they know it or not—and a cursory listen to Labelle’s catalog reveals a smorgasbord of musical gems, which have served as inspiration for 702, SWV, Total and Brownstone. As with all things, history reveals the mark of the present.
By current standards, Sarah Dash, Nona Hendryx and Patti LaBelle enjoyed a limited amount of commercial success. Nonetheless, Labelle’s impact on the music industry is completely immeasurable. Upon review of Back to Now, Labelle managed to squeeze some time out of their busy schedule and settle down for an interview with Clayton Perry — reflecting on Barack Obama, industry politics and “Lady Marmalade.”