The Godmother of Soul has joined the growing band of Cougars.

She’s got countless hits to her name, a successful line of sweet potato pies and now the Godmother of Soul has another reason to sing – she’s found new love – 30 years her junior.

Patti LaBelle, 71, is dating her 41-year-old drummer Eric Seats, Daily Mail Online has exclusively revealed. The two have been seeing each other for the past year and a half.

‘She tried to keep it quiet, but everyone around her has figured things out now. She’s completely smitten with him and they spend so much time together,’ said the source.

The music legend and Seats first met when he was hired to be her drummer several years ago.

LaBelle was just coming out of a bad relationship, but thought Seats was attractive and she started to chat with him after her shows.

‘It wasn’t long before he was helping her heal her broken heart,’ the source revealed.

‘He made her feel at ease and she loved that he had such a vast experience working in the music business.

Seats packed up and moved across the country just to be with her. He left Los Angeles a year ago for Philadelphia – where LaBelle is based.

‘Patti was so happy he moved to Philly with her. She loves having him with her all the time. She even has a big portrait of the two of them up on her wall in her bedroom,’ told the source.

LaBelle has two Grammys and two American Music Awards for her R&B hits like ‘If Only You Knew’ and ‘The Right Kinda Lover’ and Seats has his own impressive resume.

He has toured with Stevie Wonder, Mary J. Blige, Timbaland and Missy Elliott, in addition to producing songs for Destiny’s Child, Aaliyah, 702 and Tank.

‘Everything they do now, they do it together. She hasn’t seemed this happy in years. Apparently those who know him, say he’s always dated older women,’ said a source.

While the two seem very happy, at least one person isn’t – Labelle’s 42-year-old son, Zuri Edwards.

LaBelle's son Zuri Edwards (right) doesn't like the idea of his mother dating a man a year younger than he is, revealed a source

A source tells Daily Mail Online he doesn’t really like the idea of his mother dating a man a year younger than he is.

‘Not only is Zuri her son, but he’s her manager as well. He saw how hard she took her last breakup with the much-younger man she was seeing and just doesn’t want to see his mom hurt again,’ explained the source.

Patti was once engaged to Otis Williams of The Temptations and was married to former school teacher turned her manager, Armstead Edwards for 31 years. They divorced in 2000.

Zuri is their biological son, but Patti raised four other children as well. She adopted her sister’s son and daughter after she died of cancer and her neighbor’s two boys after her neighbor died of pneumonia.

Zuri’s resistance to this new relationship hasn’t slowed Patti down at all. The couple spent all of the holidays together. Most recently, New Year’s Eve – when the two had a quiet dinner together with friends before Seats left to go on tour in Japan with jazz artist Lalah Hathaway.

During Christmas, he and LaBelle spent three days with songwriter Denise Rich on her yacht in the Bahamas.

He also flew on a private jet to Los Angeles with LaBelle in early December and was on set when she was taping an appearance for Fox’s hit drama Empire.

The couple hosted Thanksgiving together at her Philadelphia home with guests such as Empire’s executive producer Lee Daniels, ‘Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon’ musical director Questlove and the viral video star James Wright Chanel that caused her Patti LaBelle Sweet Potato Pies to sell out at Walmart.Not only did Patti find sweet love in 2015, but also sweet success with her Sweet Potato Pies that went on sale exclusively at Walmart in September

The pies, which hit store shelves in September, became instant hits after that.

A Walmart spokesperson said they sold one pie per second for 72 hours straight the first weekend Chanel’s video was posted on Youtube.

The sweet potato pies became so difficult to for people to get their hands on that a box which sells normally for $3.48 was going for up to $25 a box on eBay.

Following her sweet potato success, Patti has since launched two new cakes at Walmart – vanilla pound cake with vanilla icing and a caramel cake. They both will be out this month.

Source: DailyMail Online

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