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Ex-‘DWTS’ contestant Patti LaBelle’s advice to new contestant Mary Wilson of the Supremes: “Watch your knees”

Walt Disney Television/Lorenzo Bevilaqua
The new season of Dancing with the Stars starts tonight on ABC, and a former contestant who’s an R&B legend — Patti LaBelle — has some advice for one of this season’s contestants who’s also an R&B …

Walt Disney Television/Lorenzo Bevilaqua

The new season of Dancing with the Stars starts tonight on ABC, and a former contestant who's an R&B legend -- Patti LaBelle -- has some advice for one of this season's contestants who's also an R&B legend: Mary Wilson of The Supremes.

"Tell her to watch her knees," Patti laughs.  "When I was there, I had to get shots on my knees every Monday because that's hard on you, dancing like that."

"Just take care of herself and know that she's going to win," Patti adds. "I always had the thought that I was gonna win."

Patti, who's now 75, says she's proud she did Dancing with the Stars at the age of 71.  As she tells ABC Radio, "I'm happy I took that challenge."  She also attracted many new fans.

"[They] said, 'Oh, she sings too?'" Patti laughs.

Another unlikely way that the "Lady Marmalade" veteran has earned new fans in recent years is via her popular line of sweet potato pies and other desserts.

"There are so many people who...know nothing about my singing career, but they know about those Patti Pies, which is to me growth," she explains. "You know, you're getting new people...if they see that you're performing, they might come and see the sweet potato pie lady!"

In fact, Patti's just expanded her line of foods at Walmart to include savory items like chicken and biscuits, brisket, and mac & cheese.

"I said...'I'll make it better for you by giving you dinners and then desserts, and you don't have to cook at all,'" she explains. "I just wanted to make it easier for people who are challenged and people who don't feel like cooking."

"It's my recipes," she notes. "It's all Patti's food...and it's good!"

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