Sisterhood Is Selfcare: Thank You Auntie Gladys and Auntie Patti


When I think about the things that I am grateful for, the #VERZUZ battle between Gladys Knight and Patti LaBelle on Sunday, September 13, 2020, is on the list. It has been nicknamed Auntiechella!

September is Self-Care Awareness Month – a time to remind us that taking care of ourselves, first and foremost, is essential. On this Self-Care Sunday, I planned my schedule around the Verzuz battle between our legendary Aunties Gladys Knight and Patti LaBelle. Gladys Knight is 77 years old and Pattie LaBelle is 76 year old. These amazing singers have decades of friendship and decades of hits – real music. As we face coronavirus, deadly wildfires, torrential rains, hurricanes, and a presidential election from hell, this representation of love and sisterhood is exactly what we needed. It was absolutely amazing! We were gifted with over two hours of class, grace, history, comfort, nostalgia, nurturing, vocal greatness and Black excellence. Although I just used nearly a dozen words to describe the experience, it actually is hard to find the right words to adequately describe what I saw, heard, and felt. My ears are happy and my heart is full. 

This epic night of music was a once in a lifetime event shared collectively online with 610,000 Instagram viewers including sisters such as:

  • Michelle Obama
  • Queen Latifah
  • Oprah Winfrey
  • Holly Robinson Peete
  • Jill Scott
  • Kym Whitley
  • DaBrat
  • Tabitha Brown
  • Brandy
  • Missy Elliott
  • Kerry Washington
  • Kamala Harris
  • Viola Davis
  • Octavia Spencer

Auntie Gladys and Auntie Patti are true sister friends who lifted and loved each other and encouraged us to do the same. The sisterhood is deep and real. The life lessons they shared are invaluable. They told us about the early days in their careers, the building of their families, how they have supported each other through hard times and how we need to make the world better for the next generation as they instructed us all to vote in November. (Please vote) The icing on the cake was the surprise appearance by 79 year old Dionne Warwick. The three legends blessed us with the songs “That’s What Friends Are For’ and “Superwoman”. My eyes teared as I sat in awe of their greatness. We need a documentary about these legendary ladies ASAP!

When I think about career success, making a living doing what you love, mastering your craft, and career longevity, I will forever remember this night. I am hopeful. I am inspired. I am proud. It was EVERYTHING!

Nicki Sanders, MSW, CEO, is a travel and cupcake lover with an aptitude for authentic connection and career design. She has an extensive background in developing and managing successful programs and leading high-functioning multi-disciplinary teams. She is an accomplished professor, coach, trainer, and group facilitator who has merged her Master of Social Work degree and over 20 years of diverse work experience into a thriving business.  Nicki Sanders Leadership Consulting helps businesses recruit and retain the best employees and helps women in mid-level management design the careers of their dreams.

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