Singer Patti LaBelle has been nominated for a Grammy for
her rendition of “Way Up There.” LaBelle was one of five
nominees in the Traditional Rhythm & Blues category for the
46th Annual Grammy Awards.

The song was originally commissioned by NASA to commemorate
the Centennial of Flight. The yearlong commemoration has
included events across America. It culminates at Kitty Hawk,
N.C., on the anniversary of the Wright brothers’ first
powered flight, Dec. 17.

LaBelle brought the song into national prominence, when she
sang it at the first memorial service for the seven Space
Shuttle Columbia astronauts. She sang “Way Up There” at the
National Cathedral, Washington, on Feb. 6, just five days
after the Columbia crew was lost, Feb. 1, 2003, while
returning to Earth after completing their successful mission.

LaBelle also performed the song at other events including
opening day for the Houston Astros major league baseball
team. The Astros, originally named for America’s space
program, honored the Columbia’s crew during their home season
opener on April 1. The Astros also decided to honor the
astronauts by wearing the mission patch from Columbia (STS-
107) on their uniforms during the 2003 season. LaBelle also
performed the song at New York’s Rockefeller Center in July
to commemorate 100 years of flight.

Tena R. Clark wrote the song. She received a modest
honorarium from the NASA Art Program to compose the song for
the Centennial of Flight. It appears as a track on LaBelle’s
“Church: Songs for Soul and Inspiration” on UTV Records and
separately as a single “Way up There” on DMI Records. The 46th
Grammy Awards will be presented in Los Angeles on Sunday,
Feb. 8, 2004.

For information about “Way Up There” on the Internet, visit: