Patti LaBelle has struggled with a painful knee injury since week 2 of Dancing With The Stars’ current season.
But the 70-year-old singer took for a turn for the worse during rehearsals this week, sparking worries that she would not be able to compete.
In a video released by ABC, it was clear that Patti was facing an uphill battle going into week 5′s Disney-themed night.
Injury: Patti LaBelle has been struggling with a serious knee injury all week, calling into question whether she can continue on Dancing With The Stars
She and professional partner Artem Chigvintsev had been planning to perform a waltz to When You Wish Upon A Star from Pinocchio.
‘The dance is not an easy dance,’ Patti explained in the video. ‘You’re twirling and turning… it hurts.’
Patti had to skip and cut short rehearsals throughout the week while she rested her knee, sparking worries that the soul singer would be unprepared for Monday’s performance or that she might need to drop out altogether.
Rehearsals: Because of her injury, Patti has had to cut-short rehearsals with partner Artem Chigvintsev
‘I never thought this journey would be so tough,’ Patti remarked, referring to her ongoing pain and the general physical exertion experienced by this season’s oldest competitor.
‘I want you to be here,’ Artem told his partner in the video clip. ‘I don’t want you to go home.’
‘I want to be here!’ Patti assured her 32-year-old dance partner.
Break time: In a video released by ABC, the 70-year-old singer revealed that she was in pain
Staying: Both Patti and Artem make it clear that they want her to stay if at all possible
As shown in the footage, Patti first hurt her knee three weeks earlier and has been dancing through the pain ever since.
Photos taken on Friday also clearly show the Lady Marmalade singer wearing a knee brace.
Known as the ‘Godmother of Soul,’ Patti made her mark on the music world in the 1970s and stayed at the tops of music charts into the 1980s with hits like New Attitude.
Long-term injury: Although it has gotten worse over the past week, Patti (above on Friday) first injured her knee during the second week of Dancing With The Stars
In addition to 13 Grammy nominations (two of which she won), the singer was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame for Lady Marmalade, a hit from her disco-era group, LaBelle.
Patti and Artem have proven to be strong competitors in season 20 of Dancing With The Stars, having survived three eliminations thus far.
The scored a respectable 30 points for a jazz dance last Monday, their highest score in the competition.
Improvement: Going into the fifth week of competition, Patti and Arten have gotten solid scores, earning their strongest reviews for last Monday’s jazz dance (above)