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Singer Patti LaBelle to speak and perform at 25th Annual MLK Celebration, January 16, 2017

patti-labelle-pic1Singer Patti LaBelle will be the featured speaker at the 2017 Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration Luncheon on January 16 at the Peoria Civic Center. The 25th Annual luncheon will be followed by a concert by LaBelle in the Peoria Civic Center Arena.

“Patti LaBelle is truly an icon in the music industry,” said Peoria Mayor Jim Ardis. “We’re excited to welcome her to Peoria to help us celebrate the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.”

This is the first year the event, sponsored by Public Employees for Community Concerns, will feature both a luncheon and concert. Doors will open for the luncheon at 9:30 a.m. and the luncheon will begin at 10:45 a.m. LaBelle will be the featured speaker at the event, sharing how King impacted her life and career, followed immediately by her concert from 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.

Event chairman Alma Brown said, “I can’t think of a better way to celebrate our 25th annual luncheon than an appearance by the legendary Patti LaBelle.”

Tickets for the luncheon and concert are $50 per person or 10 for $500 and are available for purchase today:

  • Online at www.mlkluncheon.com
  • At Peoria City Hall, Room 403
  • By mail: Make checks payable to Public Employees for Community Concerns and send to P.O. Box 1312, Peoria, IL 61654-1312.  Tickets for the concert only will be available starting Friday, September 9th at 11:00am at the Toyota Box Office at the Peoria Civic Center, Ticketmaster.com or by phone at 1-800-745-3000. Concert only tickets are for upper bowl general admission only. The concert is scheduled to begin approximately at 12:30pm and last until 1:30pm. Doors for anyone attending the concert only will open at 11:30pm.

About Patti LaBelle


Beautiful, simply does not describe the incomparable force known to the world as Patti LaBelle. As time continues to evolve, the soulful songbird’s name has become synonymous with grace, style, elegance and class.  Belting out classic rhythm and blues renditions, pop standards and spiritual sonnets have created the unique platform of versatility that Ms. Patti is known and revered for.

It’s a small wonder that Patti has time for anything else in between recording and touring, but she makes time and the world is oh so happy that she does!  Patti has written five best-selling books, Don’t Block the Blessings, LaBelle Cuisine: Recipes to Sing About, Patti’s Pearls, Patti LaBelle’s Lite Cuisine and Recipes for the Good Life. More recently, she introduced Patti’s Good Life, a successful line of food products that features a variety of sauces, sweet potato pie and cakes and has starred in her own highly rated cooking specials on the Cooking Channel and Food Network.

In addition to her amazing career as an entertainer and entrepreneurial success, Ms. LaBelle’s work as a humanitarian is just as legendary. She remains an advocate for adoption, foster care, Big Sisters and the United Negro College Fund, among many other initiatives.  While Ms. LaBelle’s celebrated 50-plus year career is respected world-wide, she has also endured and survived personal strife. Within a 10-year period, she lost her mother, three sisters and best friend to diabetes and cancer. In 1994, LaBelle was diagnosed with diabetes and shortly thereafter became a spokesperson for the American Diabetes Association.  

The same motivation that had Patricia Louise Holte blossom from a choir member to lead vocalist for Patti LaBelle & The Bluebelles and later Labelle, to a solo artist is the same energy that keeps her fire burning at seventy-one years young. “Each year I grow, and that’s a blessing from God.  I do what I can do.  I do what I feel God has given me the energy to do, so I just go out there and I do it…It’s not about making money because I don’t need money, but I need to sing.  With a voice or without, I’ve got to get on that stage.”  And the world is thankful that Ms. Patti’s voice sounds so good to our ears.

About Martin Luther King, Jr.

King was an American Baptist minister and activist who was a leader in the African-American Civil Rights Movement. King helped to organize the 1963 March on Washington, where he delivered his famous “I Have a Dream” speech. He received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964 for his advancement of civil rights using nonviolent civil disobedience.

In 1968, King was planning a national occupation of Washington, D.C., to be called the Poor People’s Campaign, when he was assassinated on April 4 in Memphis, Tennessee. Martin Luther King Jr. Day was established as a U.S. federal holiday in 1986.