Veteran singer Patti Labelle has overhauled her diet in a bid to prolong her life after spending years fearing she would succumb to cancer, just like her three sisters.

The R&B icon admits losing her siblings at relatively young ages made her realise how precious her life is and the type-2 diabetes sufferer has since decided to turn her back on the calorific foods that she used to love so much in a bid to take better care of her body.

The 69 year old tells U.S. talk show host Oprah Winfrey, "My sisters all died before they turned 44 so I had the fear of not making it to 50, and when I did, that was a milestone... I always thought I would die of cancer early...

"The doctor talked to me seriously, talked to me like a real girl... I'm doing well now about my diabetes (sic), I'm doing so much better, because before I said, 'Ok, I'll still (have) fried chicken and eat it'. I now fry it for friends and I'll watch them enjoy it. No more potato salad... finished. The eight cheese macaroni with lobster and shrimp? Finished. I'm eating no fruit, I'm eating no sugar and I've lost about eight pounds in the last two weeks."

And LaBelle hopes to inspire her fans to eat more healthily too by following her lead: "Look at me and say, 'If Patti can do it well, I can do it better.' I'm doing it so well now..."