Patti LaBelle, Melissa Etheridge & Janelle Monáe Talk Soul + Sing At The White House
Patti LaBelle, Melissa Etheridge and Janelle Monáe fielded questions about soul music and sang a few classics at the I’m Every Woman: The History Of Women In Soul student workshop ahead of First Lady Michelle Obama‘s Women Of Soul: In Performance At The White House concert last week. FLOTUS kickstarted things with a great intro before turning things over to her guests, who addressed everything from the history of soul to identity politics, image and the importance of women in the music industry – both onstage and behind the scenes.
Melissa Etheridge got the ball rolling on the performance side, first citing a few foremothers of American soul music – Ethel Waters, Billie Holiday, Etta James and Lena Horne amongst others – before sitting down at the piano to play “Stormy Weather.” Janelle Monáe performed a slowed-down rendition of “Victory” from The Electric Lady LP. Patti LaBelle followed with an a capella performance of “The Lord’s Prayer”, which prompted a few surprises from the audience. Check the footage below to watch the full panel discussion and performance. Get more on Women Of Soul: In Performance At The White House via PBS.org. Stay tuned for more.