Patti Labelle says James Wright Chanel is like her ‘new son.’ Ever since Wright gloriously sang about Patti’s sweet potato pie on Youtube, the two have been (sort of) inseparable.
‘He’s such a larger than life person himself,’ she said in an interview with PEOPLE. ‘It’s just a blessing when people come into your life like this and you’re not expecting anything.”
Chanel and Patti first met on the set of her holiday cooking special that will air on the cooking channel December 16 at 8:30.
“It was his first time seeing me, so when he came into the kitchen, he saw me and my back was turned. He came up behind me and he had on these beautiful leopard pants and a necklace,” the legendary singer revealed. “We just had a love moment.”
Chanel echoed Patti’s sentiments. “When she first called, it was like we’d known each other forever; we talked like we were best friends,” he said. “I told her, ‘I have to tell my mom that Patti is my new momma too.’ I said, ‘Patti, you my momma!’”
Patti and Chanel spent Thanksgiving together, singing duets over pie. In fact, Patti and Chanel are going to be performing together a lot more. He can be my lead singer and I’ll be his background singer,” LaBelle said.
According to Chanel, who has sung background vocals for the likes of Nicki Minaj, he’s been trying to perform with Patti forever and a day. ‘When she does ‘Lady Marmalade’, she calls people on stage to sing. At all of the concerts I’ve been to I never got a chance to make it on stage. And now I’m gonna be on stage with her.”
In a separate interview with MadameNoire, he responded to the Internet criticism that he should be paid for inspiring the increase in Patti pie sales.
“Everybody is saying I should be cut a check for what I did. I didn’t do the video looking to get paid. I didn’t promote the pie to get paid. I was simply doing a review and a blog that I usually do every single day. I video myself talking about different stuff and then I post them. I just feel like when you do great in God’s eye, and you sow into someone else’s ministry, all you have to do is worry about him blessing you in the end.”