Kyla Jade - You Are My Friend (Patti LaBelle) Studio Version

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"You Are My Friend" is a ballad co-written and recorded by American singer Patti LaBelle, released as the second single off her self-titled debut album, in 1978 on the Epic label. While it only reached as high as number sixty-one on the Billboard Hot-Selling Soul Singles chart upon its initial release,[1] it has gone on to become one of the singer's signature anthems.
You Are My Friend" was musically composed by James Ellison, otherwise known as "Budd". Ellison was a longtime background musician for Labelle and had befriended the singer following Labelle's split. Prior to recording the song, Ellison and another Labelle musician, Edward Batts, co-wrote the song, "What Can I Do For You", for Labelle's 1974 album, Nightbirds, which became a modest hit. The lyrics were by Edwards and LaBelle themselves. Edwards and LaBelle wrote on previous Labelle albums together. The majority of the song was recorded under E major. Rubinson, who produced the song, included rhythm guitar, bass, drums and strings. Ellison played piano on the song and some of the background vocals were handled by The Waters and members of The Valentinos (Bobby Womack's former family group). One of its members, Cecil Womack, would later collaborate with LaBelle on her material with Philadelphia International Records in the early eighties. While the majority of the song was arranged as a pop ballad, gospel elements were included. This inclusion wouldn't be noticed until LaBelle's live performances of the song, which she and Ellison arranged.
One of the covers of the song was from singer Sylvester, recorded in San Francisco for his live album Living Proof. During the song, Sylvester was joined by The Weather Girls, who started off as Sylvester's backup singers, Two Tons Of Fun. While he dedicated the song to LaBelle, it was clear that it was a love about him and The Weather Girls.[2] That same year, disco group Kenny & Friends did a dance version of the song. In 2003 gospel singer Shirley Caesar recorded the song for her album Shirley Caesar & Friends which featured Patti LaBelle on the recording. Faith Evans did a live version paying tribute to LaBelle in 2001. LaBelle re-recorded the song for her album The Gospel According to Patti LaBelle, in 2006, as a tribute to her deceased collaborator, James Ellison.
Patti LaBelle hardly leaves the stage without singing "You Are My Friend". In the early 1980s Labelle would include "What A Friend We Have In Jesus" which would lead her into "You Are My Friend".

Lead vocals by Patti LaBelle
Background vocals by James Gadson, Norma Harris, Ray Parker Jr., Rosie Casals, Sherri Barman, Yvonne Fair, Cecil Womack, Curtis Womack, Friendly Womack, Julia Waters & Maxine Waters
Lyrics written by Patti LaBelle and Armstead Edwards
Music written and arranged by James "Budd" Ellison
Produced by David Rubinson