Patti LaBelle – Grammy winner, actress, sweet potato pie maker – sure had a doozy of a performance at the 1996 National Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony.
Trouble begins about 10 seconds into the video when Patti comes out in the middle of her introduction. It’s all good though, because she played it off so subtly that practically no one even saw.
The performance starts with Patti in a close up shot as she starts her rendition of “This Christmas.” Then the camera zooms out to a lonesome songstress surrounded by multiple rows of empty bleachers.
But wait! There’s more. The cue card holder was not flipping the right cards and Patti, as fate would have it, didn’t know the words to the song!
Ms. LaBelle starts singing her troubles. “I don’t know the words and I don’t have my background singerssss!” This naturally causes mass confusion.
About two minutes into the performance, three – VERY CALM – background singers come out and assist Patti.
Props to Patti though. For not knowing the words she was going to sing she made some pretty good ones up on the spot!
Of course, the performance doesn’t stop for Patti when she is done with the song. Oh, no. Patti is given the HIGH HONOR of doing a reading for the 42nd President of the United States, Mr. Bill Clinton and his lovely first lady, Mrs. Hillary Rodham Clinton. And, you guessed it, things went south quick.
Patti is at the podium too soon and in direct shot of Bill and Hill walking out.
Our sweet Patti LaBelle makes a joke that Bill and Hillary coming out saved her from her performance, but, of course, it does not end there. The clip ends with Patti asking into the mic on where she should stand and how to hold the book.
We feel your pain, and we love you, Patti!
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