Patti LaBelle Botches Lyrics At Tina Turner BET Awards Tribute: “I’m Trying Y’all” 

Patti LaBelle Tina Turner

Patti LaBelle powered through her Tina Turner tribute at The BET Awards after forgetting the words to one of the late icon’s classic hits.

Patti Labelle became unstuck during her Tina Turner tribute performance at the 2023 BET Awards Sunday (Jun. 25) after a teleprompter snafu during her rendition of “The Best.” 

The R&B/Soul legend maintained a brave face despite forgetting some of the lyrics but powered through her set during the ceremony at Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles.  

“I’m trying, y’all,” she said to the audience as she launched into the first chorus. However, she soon forgot the lyrics once again. “Oh lord,” she said before singing, “What if I can’t see the words? I don’t know” to the song’s tune. “I’m trying, y’all,” she repeated.  

Patti LaBelle maintained her professionalism and persevered, throwing in adlibs to pay homage to the late “Queen of Rock ‘n’ Roll“. “God bless you, Tina Turner!” Patti LaBelle declared at the end of her performance. Check out the clip below.

Although she forgot the lyrics, an issue with the teleprompter confounded the blunder. A BET spokesperson told 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. 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.” 

Patti LaBelle Felt “Honored” To Pay Homage To Tina Turner

While rumors of a rift between the two icons surfaced online following the performance, Patti Labelle said she was “honored” by the opportunity.  

“Tina was a trailblazer and someone I have a tremendous amount of respect for because of all that she overcame and all that she accomplished,” she told Rolling Stone ahead of the awards. “She was and is everything! And I am honored that I am able to pay tribute to her in this way.”