Ever learned the lyrics to “Lady Marmalade”?
Maybe it’s time to brush up on the groovy disco song — especially the French part — because soul legend Patti LaBelle is coming to town.
When LaBelle performs Sept. 8 at the Tulalip Amphitheatre, she’s going to invite four randomly selected audience members to join her on stage to help her sing “Lady Marmalade.”
“They’ll sing and dance,” LaBelle, 75, said in a phone interview with The Daily Herald from her home in Philadelphia. “It’s going to be a great, great night.”
LaBelle is one of the headliners at the Tulalip Summer Concert Series, which begins July 5 and runs through Sept. 8.
Tickets are selling quickly; two concerts — Sammy Hagar, the former lead singer of Van Halen who has performed in the series five of the past six years, and REO Speedwagon, a rock band that remains popular even after its heyday in the 1980s — have already sold out.
LaBelle performs Sept. 8 with The Pointer Sisters, a Grammy Award-winning R&B, soul and pop group featuring original member Ruth Pointer, her daughter, Issa Pointer, and granddaughter, Sadako Pointer.
LaBelle is known for her five-octave vocal range, electric lyrics and precise control.
“I couldn’t imagine the world of soul music without Patti LaBelle,” Ruth Pointer told The Herald. She performed with LaBelle over the years along with her sisters Anita and June Pointer.
“She’s always been a standout and I’ve always admired and respected her as a woman and a vocalist,” Pointer said of LaBelle.
LaBelle’s 1974 song “Lady Marmalade,” inspired by the French Quarter in New Orleans, is an iconic, risque and irresistibly groovy disco song. It features a chorus sung in French — that’s the risque part.
“That’s the only French I know,” LaBelle said with a laugh.
The soul legend plans to mix things up during the concert, which will feature three other singers and band members she’s performed with over the past few decades. She’ll draw from her other big hits, such as “Come What May” and “New Attitude,” as well as jazz covers from her 2017 album, “Bel Hommage.”
LaBelle’s motto for her shows is best described in her contemporary R&B song from 1994, “Come As You Are,” which calls for acceptance of all types of people.
“I always want them to feel at home at my concerts,” LaBelle said of her audiences. “At the end, they’ll be hugging and crying together.”
Also slated to perform at Tulalip this summer:
Grammy Award-winning blues guitar virtuosos Jonny Lang and Robert Cray will kick off the series July 5.
Motown legend Smokey Robinson, 79, performs July 12 backed by a full band. He’s best known for writing many of Motown’s greatest hits from 1962 to 1966, including “Tracks of My Tears,” “My Girl,” “Since I Lost My Baby” and “Tears of a Clown.” His high tenor voice is one of the most distinctive in music. “It doesn’t get any better than Smokey,” said Mel Sheldon, a Tulalip tribal leader who helped organize the concert series.
Martina McBride, with 14 Grammy nominations — more than any other country music artist — will perform July 25. She’s best known for her soprano vocals on country and pop hits that include “Concrete Angel,” “A Broken Wing” and “Blessed.”
Travis Tritt and Charlie Daniels, icons of country and Southern rock, respectively, will perform Aug. 15.
Evan Thompson: 425-339-3427, firstname.lastname@example.org. Twitter: @ByEvanThompson.
If you go
The 2019 Tulalip Summer Concert Series runs through September at the Tulalip Amphitheatre, 10200 Quil Ceda Blvd., Marysville. Doors open at 6 p.m., concerts begin at 7 p.m. Tickets range from $55 to $105.
More at www.tulalipresortcasino.com or call 360-716-6000.
Tulalip Summer Concert schedule
July 5: Jonny Lang and The Robert Cray Band
July 12: Smokey Robinson
July 25: Martina McBride
Aug. 15: Travis Tritt and The Charlie Daniels Band
Aug. 23: Sammy Hagar (sold out)
Aug. 29: REO Speedwagon (sold out)
Sept. 8: Patti LaBelle and The Pointer Sisters