PHILADELPHIA -- Patti LaBelle had to overcome a bit of a mishap during her tribute performance to the late Tina Turner at Sunday's BET Awards.
The legendary Philadelphia singer performed Turner's 1989 hit "(Simply) the Best" and appeared to have some issues with the teleprompter, but that didn't stop her.
"I can't see the words and I don't know," LaBelle sang to the crowd. "I'm trying y'all."
The audience in the theater clapped and joined LaBelle and her background singers for the chorus to sing, "You're simply the best!"
Some viewers criticized LaBelle's flub, while others defended the 79-year-old singer.
Actress and producer Holly Robinson Peete retweeted video of an audience member who said her section was blocking a teleprompter, which made it difficult for LaBelle to see the lyrics.
Robinson Peete tweeted, "This Patti slander is wrong."
A spokesperson for BET confirmed LaBelle's view was obstructed in a statement to The Hollywood Reporter, "Having the incomparable Ms. Patti LaBelle on our stage honoring one of her contemporaries was an equal privilege. Due to the crowd's enthusiasm, the teleprompter was obstructed, obscuring Ms. LaBelle's view of the lyrics. Nonetheless, we couldn't be more grateful to Ms. LaBelle for lending her incredible talent to this moment."
LaBelle finished strong, saying at the end of her performance, "God bless you, Tina Turner!"
On "Good Morning America" Monday, LaBelle was a guest to promote her appearance on ABC's sitcom "The Wonder Years."
While she didn't address the mishap, she told "GMA" anchor Michael Strahan what that performance meant to her.
"I was so blessed to be asked to honor Tina Turner because that's my friend from back in the day. Such a wonderful woman who's done everything and so many people admire her. When I did it last night, I was proud, honey. I felt really great," LaBelle said.
She continued, "It was always a great feeling being with her and just watching her go from where she started, which was not so pleasant, to where she ended up as a super, super woman. I'm just in awe of Tina Turner."
Lisa Respers France of CNN contributed to this report.