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The Life Lesson Patti LaBelle Learned From Her Sisters' Deaths

Season 5 Episode 505
Aired on 11/22/2015 | CC tv-14
Legendary singer Patti LaBelle grew up in a house full of women. While Patti and her three sisters—Barbara, Vivian and Jackie—had their share of arguments, they forged a close bond during their early years in Philadelphia.

Sadly, between 1975 and 1989, all three of Patti's sisters died of cancer. None of them lived to see their 45th birthdays. The day before Jackie, Patti's younger sister, passed away, Patti says she'd just returned home from tour when she got a request from her last surviving sibling. "She asked me to make her an egg sandwich," Patti says. "I said to my aunt, because Jackie couldn't speak very well then, 'Aunt Hattie, tell her that I'll make it tomorrow.' The next day I made the sandwich. I said, 'Hattie, I'm on the way.' She said, 'Don't rush. Your sister just passed.'"

To this day, Patti says she misses her sister like crazy. After Jackie's death, Patti sang at her funeral and adopted her son and daughter. Now, Patti says the deaths of her sisters influence how she lives her life.

"Live your life today, because you have no idea what can happen in the next hour of this day," she says. "[Jackie] knew I loved her, but I was busy touring, and I was too tired to make that sandwich that day, so do it now. Do everything now you can for your family."

Watch as Patti shares why she tries to live each day like it's her last.

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