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Tabitha Brown has a special relationship with Patti LaBelle.
The vegan food star, who made an appearance on The Jennifer Hudson Show on Tuesday to promote her new cookbook, opened up about meeting LaBelle while on a plane to visit her mother whose health was failing due to ALS.
Brown starts the story by recounting the most recent time she met LaBelle in July when they were at the airport at the same time. "I froze in my moment, I was like 'Oh my God it's Patti LaBelle,'" she says. Brown then describes how LaBelle recognized her as the "girl who smiles."
Meeting her again this year reminded her of the special moment they shared the first time she met her in 2006.
"My mama was a Patti fan…she loved Patti LaBelle. And when my mom was sick in 2006, we thought that she was about to die then even though she lived for another year. I got the call that I need to go home and say goodbye to my mother," she says.
She continues: "I had got to the airport — and I was a mess that day. When I got on my flight, Patti was sitting in first class. And when I looked at her, she winked at me."
Brown says when she got to her seat, she cried for the entire flight after the kind gesture.
"I remember getting there and telling [my mother]...'Mama I saw Patti LaBelle! Like she was on my flight. She winked at me. You're going to be alright,'" she recalls. "It was like a sign for me. So to be able to see her [in 2022] and to meet her and to tell her 'My mama loved you, and I love you,' it was just such a moment — just in the airport."
During the show, Hudson asked the Food Network star how she manages to stay so positive. Brown opened up about how she was in a "real dark place" when she suffered health issues. But she prayed that once she got better, she would "always choose joy and always choose light."
This summer, Brown continued to practice her mantra when she spoke up about her cooking series, It's CompliPlated, being moved from a primetime slot on the Food Network to Tuesdays at 1 p.m.
"I know I've said this so many times before, but for whatever reason, people just don't seem to believe me, okay," she said in a candid Instagram caption. "There is not a company, there is not a network, there is not a person, place, or thing that is going to change who I am."
"I'm not going to change," she added. "I'm not going to shift a little bit for your audience. I'm not going to talk a little bit different for your comfort. I'm not going to change."
"If it ain't enough for you, then you're not for me. And if I bring it to your attention that — 'Wait, I don't like how this feels; I feel like you're trying to change me or erase my personality or my culture' — and you get upset by that instead of hearing me from my heart, I also don't want to be in business with you," she continued.
"With that being said, my new show It's CompliPlated has been moved from Thursdays at 9 p.m. to Tuesdays at 1 p.m. on Food Network."
In the post's caption, Brown shared she had to break down "a lot of walls and barriers to get to my freedom."
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While she did not address Food Network directly in her post, she praised those who understand her vision.
"Thank you to all the partners that i work with that truly see me for me, I appreciate you! To those that don't see me for me but see me only for their benefit, I SEE YOU!" she wrote.