"We Liked Each Other From a Distance"
Patti LaBelle and Armstead Edwards were married from 1969 to 2000, when they announced their separation. The divorce was finalized in 2003.
Some people fall in love multiple times in a lifetime. They are lucky enough to have had a beautiful marriage the first time around and then amicably separate only to find love again even at an advanced age. These women are inspirations as they prove that there is no deadline for finding love because true feelings can develop at any stage in life. They also show that women deserve happiness even if it means letting go of a long-term partner who is no longer good for them.
The godmother of soul, Patti LaBelle, 76, enjoyed a long marriage with her ex-husband Armstead Edwards, who was also her manager. Best known for her hit songs, including If Only You Knew, On My Own, New Attitude, Stir It Up, and Lady Marmalade, she's enjoyed a long career as well and her husband had a part in that. He was her manager before they got married.
She was always an independent woman who knew her mind. After they started dating, Edwards asked her to marry him many times but she didn't agree until she was ready. And, when she was ready there was no stopping her.
"[He] asked me to marry him three times, and I said no," she revealed, according to Huffington Post. "The fourth time, I asked him. He said, ‘Let me give it a few days.’ So he gave it a few days, and he said yes.”
The singer got married in Maryland in 1969 at the Justice of the Peace. After their wedding, they had a small reception where beer and soft-shell crab was served. They welcomed their first child, son, Zuri, four years later, and then adopted two more children, Stanley Stocker-Edwards and Dodd Stocker-Edwards.
During her marriage, she gained fame as part of the Ordettes who later became The Bluebelles. Then she started her solo career and worked in many movies. She has also written several books. Edwards was beside her through most of it. They were married for 30 years before deciding that their relationship wasn't working anymore.
It can be a life-changing moment for anyone. "We realized that we couldn’t live together anymore. We liked each other from a distance," LaBelle admits. "When you feel that, somebody gotta go," she said, as per CountryLiving.
Anyone who thought that the ending of this long union was acrimonious would be wrong since it happened amicably. "I never hated him. He never hated me, We just couldn’t live together—not because of physical fights or anything. We never fought, thank God, in 32 years. We got along even when we didn’t get along! But then we realized that we had to leave each other," she said.
They announced their separation 20 years ago and it took another three years for the divorce to be finalized. "We’re cool now," Patti has said. "He’s one of my best friends." Everyone hopes to have a post-divorce relationship that is as friendly as theirs.
After their divorce, the You Are My Friend singer, who also did a stint on Dancing with the Stars, found love again with drummer Eric Seats, who is 30 years younger than her. "She tried to keep it quiet, but everyone around her has figured things out now.
She's completely smitten with him and they spend so much time together," said a source to Daily Mail. LaBelle was 71 and Seats 41 when they initially started seeing each other.
They first met when he was hired to be her drummer several years ago. She was coming out of a bad relationship then and found him attractive. She used to speak to him about it. "It wasn't long before he was helping her heal her broken heart," the source revealed. "He made her feel at ease and she loved that he had such a vast experience working in the music business," they said.
Seats moved from Los Angeles to Philadelphia, where she is based, to be with her. "Patti was so happy he moved to Philly with her. She loves having him with her all the time. She even has a big portrait of the two of them up on her wall in her bedroom," told the source.
Unfortunately, her son Zuri, who is older than Seats, is not happy with the relationship. "He saw how hard she took her last breakup with the much-younger man she was seeing and just doesn't want to see his mom hurt again," explained the source.