Verzuz Patti Labelle Vs Gladys Knight (Live) (Feat. Dionne Warwick) - 09/2020 - Part 2

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We thought we’d get together to do this because we’ve always wanted to,” Dionne Warwick said, as the audience cheered the arrival of fellow legends Patti LaBelle and Gladys Knight. “We’ve never been on the same stage before!”

It was July 12, 1986. And the occasion that brought three of R&B’s greatest voices together for the first time was Sisters In The Name Of Love, an award-winning concert special that itself has become legendary. Originally broadcast on HBO, this team-up of music icons has never been released on home video and is rarely rerun. But viewers will have a chance to see what they missed 30 years ago – or enjoy it again – when the special airs once again on getTV!

Created by Knight and produced by her her brother Bubba (a member of Gladys Knight & The Pips), Sisters In The Name Of Love is a must-see for even the casual music lover. The 90-minute special was recorded before a live audience at the historic Aquarius Theater in Hollywood and includes performances of fifteen rhythm & blues, soul, gospel, and pop classics. Warwick, LaBelle, and Knight – with a collective 80 years in show business between them at the time – share the mic for a dozen songs, and each performs an extended solo number. They even bust out some choreography to the delight of the enthusiastic audience.

“James Brown, eat your heart out!” LaBelle brags, after duplicating his dance moves during an energetic rendition of “Living In America.”

How cool is Patti LaBelle? The Godmother of Soul – born Patricia Holt in Philadelphia in 1944 – was enjoying a major career renaissance in the mid-1980s, nearly 25 years after forming her first group the Blue Belles (eventually known as LaBelle). With two tracks on the popular Beverly Hills Cop soundtrack in 1984, LaBelle had returned to the Billboard charts with a vengeance. She performs one of those hits, “New Attitude,” on Sisters In The Name Of Love. LaBelle’s eighth studio album Winner In You was in stores when the special aired, and the biggest hit of her career – the duet “On My Own” with Michael McDonald – was all over the radio. In short, 1986 was a good year for Patti LaBelle - and an even better year for her fans.

Warwick, a few years older than her fellow songstresses, provides a nice counterpoint to LaBelle’s high-energy style and operatic soprano. By 1986, the New Jersey native – born Dionne Warrick in 1940 – had been belting out hits for a quarter of a century, beginning with “Don’t Make Me Over.” But her jazzy effortlessness on that track and other Burt Bacharach/Hal David top ten hits like “Walk on By,” “I Say A Little Prayer,” and “Do You Know The Way To San Jose” belied a voice of enormous power and range. Her solo performance of “I’ll Never Love This Way Again” (from the 1979 album Dionne) is a highlight of Sisters In The Name Of Love.

Gladys Knight began her career at the youngest age of the three women; the Atlanta native was just seven when she won a TV talent contest in 1952. A year later, the act t