Patti LaBelle Overcomes Teleprompter Mishap, Pays Homage to Tina Turner at 2023 BET Awards
Renowned R&B/Soul legend Patti LaBelle encountered a momentary setback during her Tina Turner tribute performance at the 2023 BET Awards on Sunday (Jun. 25) due to a teleprompter snafu while singing “The Best.”
Undeterred by the incident, the legendary artist maintained her composure and powered through her set at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles.
“I’m trying, y’all,” she conveyed to the audience as she launched into the first chorus. However, she momentarily forgot the lyrics once again, prompting her to exclaim, “Oh lord.” She then sang, “What if I can’t see the words? I don’t know,” to the tune of the song. Patti LaBelle persisted, reiterating her determination by repeating, “I’m trying, y’all.”
Despite the lyrical slip-ups, Patti LaBelle demonstrated professionalism and perseverance, adding adlibs to pay homage to the late “Queen of Rock ‘n’ Roll.” At the end of her performance, she proclaimed, “God bless you, Tina Turner!” expressing her deep admiration for the iconic artist.
The mishap with the teleprompter contributed to the lyrical blunder. A spokesperson for BET explained to The Hollywood Reporter, “It was an extraordinary privilege to celebrate the life and legacy of Ms. Tina Turner at the BET Awards 2023. Having the incomparable Ms. Patti LaBelle on our stage honoring one of her contemporaries was an equal privilege. Due to the crowd’s enthusiasm, the teleprompter was obstructed, obscuring Ms. LaBelle’s view of the lyrics. Nonetheless, we couldn’t be more grateful to Ms. LaBelle for lending her incredible talent to this moment.”
Addressing the rumors of a rift between the two icons that surfaced online following the performance, Patti LaBelle clarified that she felt “honored” by the opportunity to pay homage to Tina Turner. In an interview with Rolling Stone prior to the awards, she expressed deep respect for Turner’s resilience and accomplishments, stating, “Tina was a trailblazer and someone I have a tremendous amount of respect for because of all that she overcame and all that she accomplished. She was and is everything! And I am honored that I am able to pay tribute to her in this way.”