Why Patti LaBelle Called Off Her Engagement to One of the Temptations

Season 5 Episode 505
Aired on 11/22/2015 | CC tv-14
Throughout the 1960s, Patti LaBelle and her girl group, the Bluebelles, were one of the hottest acts in the country. At the same time, The Temptations, Motown's all-male quintet, was topping the charts with hits like "My Girl" and "Ain't Too Proud to Beg."

One night, Patti says she went to see The Temptations perform in downtown Philadelphia, and after the show, she met the group's baritone, Otis Williams. "I ended up seeing Otis, and we ended up becoming engaged," she says. "I think I was more in love with The Temptations than Otis Williams, who was a very sweet man. They were big at that time, you know, and sometimes you get a little celebrity crazy, and I think I was in that category."

When Otis suggested that Patti move to Detroit and give up her singing career, she says she knew their relationship would never work. "I said very nicely, 'The engagement is off. I have to sing for the rest of my life. If they weren't paying me, I have to sing. That's how it is with me,'" she says. "I still really care for him very much. ... But I'm glad I didn't marry you, boo boo."

In the above video, Patti shares what this experience taught her about believing in herself.

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