Patti LaBelle Sparkles to Kick Off Holiday Weekend

The soul diva with one of the longest careers in contemporary music lit up the stage in Bryant Park for jubilant "Good Morning America" fans who couldn't wait to kick off the holiday weekend.

Patti LaBelle belted out the classic songs, "Ain't No Way" and "Lady Marmalade."

From Girl Groups to Funk

LaBelle has struck gold with hits in a variety of genres -- from girl group pop to space-age funk.

Born Patricia Holt in Philadelphia on Oct. 4, 1944, LaBelle got her start in a local Baptist choir near the neighborhood where she grew up.

LaBelle formed her first group, the "Ordettes," along with friend Cindy Birdsong in 1960.

The group scored a Top 20 pop and R&B hit in 1962 with the single "I Sold My Heart to the Junkman," and struck again in 1964 with renditions of "Danny Boy" and "You'll Never Walk Alone."

Another hit came for the star when her group -- then known as Patti LaBelle and the Blue Belles -- recorded a version of "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" in 1965.

In 1970, the group was renamed LaBelle and sent their music in a funky, rock-oriented direction. In 1971, they toured with psychedelic rockers The Who.

LaBelle reinvented herself again in 1973 with dramatic and theatrical performances, complete with futuristic costumes.

One year later LaBelle and her group became the first African-American group to perform at New York's Metropolitan Opera House.

Going Solo

In 1975, LaBelle the group ended, but LaBelle the solo act was born.

With hits through the end of the 1970s and her foray into acting in the early '80s, LaBelle continued to show that she was a chameleon and had no intention of slowing down.

After signing with Philadelphia International, LaBelle released "If You Only Knew" in 1983, scoring another No. 1 hit.

The mid-1980s saw LaBelle record hit tracks like "New Attitude" from the film "Beverly Hills Cop" and a duet with Michael McDonald, "On My Own."

In 1992, the soul diva earned a Best Female R&B Performance Grammy for her album "Burnin'."

She earned another Grammy in 1998 for Best Traditional R&B Vocal Performance.

LaBelle has slowed down her touring, but she published her autobiography in 1995 and released a new album in 2000.

Since then, the songbird has lent her voice to tracks for DMX, Outkast and Wycleff Jean.

With the release of "Classic Moments," LaBelle returns to cover songs from artists like Elton John, Michael Jackson and Michael McDonald.