Patti Labelle feared she was "going to drown" Otis Redding when he was teaching her to swim.

The 79-year-old star was taking swimming tips from the music icon - who died in December 1967, aged 26 - when she started to fear the worst.

Speaking to the Guardian newspaper, Patti recalled: "I thought I was going to drown Otis because I was pulling him down with me. I loved Otis Redding, and I still speak to his wife."

Patti still remembers being impressed by Otis' wisdom.

The singer also remembers Otis - who died in a plane crash over Lake Monona in Wisconsin - as a "gentleman".

She shared: "He had an old spirit, you’re right about that. Such a gentleman, such a nice man to all of us, to all of the ladies in the world."

The singer has enjoyed a remarkably successful career, selling more than 50 million records worldwide and winning numerous awards.

Despite this, Patti insisted that she's actually quite "boring".

The 'On My Own' hitmaker said: "I’m very shy and laid-back off stage. I don’t socialise very well. Offstage I’m boring. I’m very boring. I am."

Asked why she thinks she's boring, Patti replied: "I don’t drink ... No, I do drink wine. I don’t swim. I don’t drive a car. I don’t go dancing at the clubs. I stay in the kitchen and I cook."

Patti has been working on new music in recent times, and she insists that her singing talents remain undiminished.

She said: "Sometimes I’m amazed at some of the notes I can still hit and above. And some nights I might be a little under. You know, I’m human. Every night is not going to be mind-blowing or fabulous, it’s going to be Patti LaBelle whoever she is at that moment. But I have no complaints."