Patti LaBelle worried 'she was going to drown' Otis Redding

Music legend Patti LaBelle remembers Otis Redding as having an "old spirit".



Patti LaBelle learned to swim alongside Otis Redding
Patti LaBelle learned to swim alongside Otis Redding

Patti LaBelle feared she was "going to drown" Otis Redding when he was teaching her to swim.

The 79-year-old star was taking swimming tips from the music icon - who died in December 1967, aged 26 - when she started to fear the worst.

Speaking to the Guardian newspaper, Patti recalled: "I thought I was going to drown Otis because I was pulling him down with me. I loved Otis Redding, and I still speak to his wife."

Patti still remembers being impressed by Otis' wisdom.

The singer also remembers Otis - who died in a plane crash over Lake Monona in Wisconsin - as a "gentleman".

She shared: "He had an old spirit, you’re right about that. Such a gentleman, such a nice man to all of us, to all of the ladies in the world."

The singer has enjoyed a remarkably successful career, selling more than 50 million records worldwide and winning numerous awards.

Despite this, Patti insisted that she's actually quite "boring".

The 'On My Own' hitmaker said: "I’m very shy and laid-back off stage. I don’t socialise very well. Offstage I’m boring. I’m very boring. I am."

Asked why she thinks she's boring, Patti replied: "I don’t drink ... No, I do drink wine. I don’t swim. I don’t drive a car. I don’t go dancing at the clubs. I stay in the kitchen and I cook."

Patti has been working on new music in recent times, and she insists that her singing talents remain undiminished.

She said: "Sometimes I’m amazed at some of the notes I can still hit and above. And some nights I might be a little under. You know, I’m human. Every night is not going to be mind-blowing or fabulous, it’s going to be Patti LaBelle whoever she is at that moment. But I have no complaints."