As Grammy winner Patti Austin performed at the Hollywood Bowl Wednesday night, she was grateful for longevity, loyal fans, and to be alive.
Austin was booked on United Flight 93 on September 11th, 2001, after a Michael Jackson tribute concert in New York City, but her mother's stroke in San Francisco delayed her availability.
When Austin broke the news to music promoter David Guest, her need to change her schedule was the key.
"Show up anyway, and you'll go up on stage, and you'll sing We are the World, and so, I'll fly you in for the first show. Not the second one," recalls Austin. "That’s what saved my life."
And so Austin never boarded the flight that crashed in a Pennsylvania field when passengers fought back against the terrorists.
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After the tragedy, her manager made the connection.
"'He said that's the flight," recalls Austin. "Remember, you were supposed to go to the second day of the show, and you had get out first thing in the morning, and that was the only thing that left early enough in the morning to get you back into San Francisco in time to be with your mom,' and I completely lost it," says Austin.
Austin lost her mother five years later, but continues to love life and perform.
"I felt that my life had been saved for some specific reason," says Austin. "I have yet to figure that out, but I do a lot of charity work now, which I was doing before, but I do a lot more."