In an exclusive interview with Closer Weekly, 73-year-old R&B legend Patti LaBelle opens up about staying healthy and young at heart since her diabetes diagnosis in 1994. “Before that, I would never go to doctors, because I was afraid they might tell me something negative,” she confides to Closer of her diagnosis.

But since going public with her battle, “So many people have come to me and said, ‘Thank you for letting me know you were a diabetic because it made me look into my life.’” The pop diva tells Closer, “I’m eating properly and I’m doing the right amount of exercise — I care about tomorrow. I want to live to be 120!” These days, Patti says, “I feel like I’m 40!” She attributes that to her family: “I had great parents and good genes.”

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50 Shades of PLB. Hey St. Louis!

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Spending time with her two granddaughters also helps. “They give me so much joy,” she says of the girls, whose dad is Patti’s son (and manager) Zuri Edwards, 44. “He’s my biggest accomplishment and greatest inspiration,” she gushes to Closer.

For more on Patti, pick up the latest issue of Closer Weekly, on newsstands now — and be sure to sign up for our newsletter for exclusive news!