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Legendary performer LaBelle ready for anthem first

By Adam Kimelman - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

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Legendary performer LaBelle ready for anthem first
The legendary performer, a Philadelphia native, will sing the National Anthem in her hometown for the 2012 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic.
PHILADELPHIA -- In her long, legendary career, Patti LaBelle has played some of the most famous venues around the world.
 
But in a career that spans more than 50 years, the legendary performer will have a career-first Monday. LaBelle, a Philadelphia native, will sing the National Anthem in her hometown for the 2012 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic.
 
"It means that you're grown up," LaBelle told NHL.com. "I'm a grown-up woman."
 
LaBelle has won two Grammy awards, sold out buildings and won acclaim as an actress, author and chef, but she said even she's not sure what it's going to be like when she walks out in front of more than 47,000 people here at Citizens Bank Park.
 
"It's very unique," she said. "It's freezing out there. I've never, ever sung in weather like this."
 
LaBelle said she's not the biggest hockey fan in the world, but there's no doubt which team she'll be rooting for Monday.
 
"I'm not a hockey fan," she said, "but I know about the Flyers and they're great."
 
Toronto-born Melanie Fiona, a 2011 Grammy-nominee, will perform the Canadian National Anthem prior to LaBelle's performance.
 
Contact Adam Kimelman at akimelman@nhl.com. Follow him on Twitter: @NHLAdamK
 
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