She’s better than all the rest — even if she forgets a lyric now and then. Patti LaBelle paid tribute to the late, great Tina Turner during the live Sunday (June 25) BET Awards held at the Microsoft Theatre in Los Angeles, but in the midst of her performance, a few of the lyrics escaped her as she performed Turner’s hit “The Best.”
The two-time Grammy winner started off strong and confident, grooving to the music as her vocals soared. But as she finished the second half of the first verse, she started humming before telling the audience during the live telecast, “I’m trying, y’all.” Then like a pro, she launched into the chorus like nothing was wrong.
A little later in the performance, LaBelle ad-libbed a few lyrics and shared what the issue was. “I get … whatever. I can’t see the words I don’t know!” she sang before yelling again, “I’m trying, y’all!”
Though she may have flubbed the lyrics a few times, the singer continued with her performance before ending with ““God bless you, Tina Turner, BET, hip-hop!”
According to one attendee who shared video from the moment of where the audience member was seated, LaBelle might not have been able to see the teleprompter because the section in front of it was standing, blocking the singer’s view.
BET confirmed that this was the case in a statement to The Hollywood Reporter. “It was an extraordinary privilege to celebrate the life and legacy of Ms. Tina Turner at BET Awards 2023. Having the incomparable Ms. Patti LaBelle on our stage honoring one of her contemporaries was an equal privilege,” a spokesperson told the publication. “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.”
Watch moments from LaBelle’s BET performance below: