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A bomb threat at Riverside Theatre forced the evacuation of Patti LaBelle at a theater concert in Milwaukee late Saturday, organizers said.
Patti LaBelle was taken off stage by security at a concert in Milwaukee tonight following a bomb threat pic.twitter.com/SeuCPrWVDj
— philip lewis (@Phil_Lewis_) December 11, 2022
The singer, 78, was ushered away mid-performance during her gig at the theater, when three men in all black had her drop a bouquet of flowers to quickly exit the venue, with her band following after. “Hold up,” LaBelle could be heard saying in a clip shared online, before being escorted backstage.
According to NBC News, an announcement could be heard notifying the concertgoers that police would sweep the theater before they could leave.
The Riverside Theater said in a statement that the show was “postponed following a bomb threat investigated by the Milwaukee Police Department.”
“We are thankful for the efforts of the Milwaukee Police Department and our customers and staff for their safe and orderly exit,” it added.
According to Milwaukee Police Capt. Warren E. Allen Jr., per the Journal Sentinel, the Riverside Theater “was searched by K9 units” and “no explosive devices were discovered.”
For everyone who saw that earlier video of Patti LaBelle being chased off the stage by a bomb threat, she’s just released a video statement via her drummer that all is well.
That video was scary as Hell! Glad she’s ok! pic.twitter.com/M49CrJDhup
— Lavern Spicer ?? (@lavern_spicer) December 12, 2022
As event organizer Pabst Theater Group later explained on social media, LaBelle’s cancellation was the result of a bomb threat. The organizer said it is now “working with the artist to reschedule the show.”
For decades, Patti LaBelle has been considered the queen of rock and soul music. As a member of the Ordettes, later known as the Bluebelles, she gained popularity. After achieving worldwide success through albums such as 1978’s Tasty and Released, LaBelle released the ballad “The Best is Yet to Come” in 1982.
The song reached No. 14 on the Billboard R&B singles chart and earned the singer her first solo nomination for a Grammy Award.
Since the 80s, LaBelle has released several singles — including “New Attitude,” “Stir It Up,” and “If You Asked Me To” — that went on to become pop radio classics.
LaBelle’s RIAA-certified gold 1991 album Burnin’ later earned the icon her first Grammy award. Only just getting started, LaBelle continued to release successful albums, went on to win a second Grammy, and starred in Broadway musicals and films. She also rejoined Nona Hendryx and Sarah Dash to release another Bluebelles record.
A titan in the food industry, Walmart confirmed that Patti LaBelle has sold a jaw-dropping 36,000 of LaBelle’s sweet potato pies every day—which translates to 1,500 pies every hour. That’s an estimated 25 Patti Pies per minute for the past five years.
After touring for 11 months this year, it remains a mystery why anyone would threaten the venue during LaBelle’s performance on Saturday.
Nevertheless, LaBelle remains a road warrior after seven decades, and she’s unlikely to be deterred by the threat. “A lot of people, when they meet me, they say ‘Are you still working? Are you still touring?’ I said, ‘Google me, boo,’” LaBelle said. “I’m always on the run. I’m booked, and busy and blessed.”