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Patti LaBelle Blasts Today's Divas as "Little Heifers Who Can't Sing"

Patti LaBelle Lester Cohen/WireImage.com

Tell us how you really feel, Patti LaBelle.

The legendary singer opened up to PrideSource in a new interview published on Tuesday, Jan. 21, in which she candidly reveals why she's no longer a diva, while throwing some serious shade at today's top talent.

"That word is used so loosely that I don't even consider myself a diva," the 69-year-old two-time Grammy winner explained. "I always considered myself a woman who sings her heart out and who gives 120 percent. 'Diva' is a word that I wouldn't wanna call myself because it's so loosely used. It's not cute anymore." 

When asked whether there's now a negative connotation to the once-esteemed title, LaBelle didn't hold back with her response. "Yeah, because all these little heifers who can't sing are called divas!" she said, though the "Lady Marmalade" singer did not name anyone specific.

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"It doesn't mean anything to me and probably to some of the other ladies who have been doing it for as long as I have: Gladys Knight, Aretha Franklin, Dionne Warwick," LaBelle, who also admitted in the interview that she's honest to a fault, continued. "You know, I'm speaking for me—I don't know if they like to be called divas—but I know I wouldn't call them divas, because it's not in good company."

The 2003 Grammy Hall of Fame inductee then noted that the word diva was once a respectable term used to describe "opera singers" and "ladies who earned it, but that was way, way back when."

"Now you can look up to them, but you might not see what you wanna see. A hot mess!" she said of today's divas. "People who are doing it and doing it with about 40 people onstage with them to hide their pitifulness—that's not a word, but you know what I mean."

LaBelle, who released her last non-Christmas studio album in 2006, also shared that she's working on a jazz album, which, according to the performer, is set to be released this year, as well as a dance album and an album of ballads. The singer also has upcoming concerts in cities such as New York, Detroit and San Antonio.

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