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Sarah Dash, Singer And Co-Founder Of LaBelle, Dies At Age 76

By Michael Bamidele
21 September 2021   |   4:40 pm
Sarah Dash, American singer and member of the legendary R&B group LaBelle, who had a US No 1 hit with "Lady Marmalade," has died. She was 76. Dash's bandmate Patti Labelle announced her longtime friend's death on social media. "We were just onstage together on Saturday and it was such a powerful and special moment!"…
Sarah Dash

Sarah Dash performs in Chicago on March 6, 1979. | Image: Paul Natkin / Getty Images

Sarah Dash, American singer and member of the legendary R&B group LaBelle, who had a US No 1 hit with “Lady Marmalade,” has died. She was 76.

Dash’s bandmate Patti Labelle announced her longtime friend’s death on social media.

“We were just onstage together on Saturday and it was such a powerful and special moment!” Labelle said on Twitter. “Sarah Dash was an awesomely talented, beautiful and loving soul who blessed my life and the lives of so many others in more ways than I can say. And I could always count on her to have my back! That’s who Sarah was … a loyal friend and a voice for those who didn’t have one.”

Nona Hendryx rounded out the Labelle trio. Hendryx shared on Instagram of the passing of her former bandmate, “Words are inadequate so I will use few. We spoke a musical language, music says it best. Singing brought us together…”

She added that the two had just talked and texted on Saturday. “Now you’re gone, I can’t believe it,” Hendryx said.

Dash — born on August 18, 1945 in Trenton, New Jersey — created The Bluebelles with Hendryx, LaBelle and Cindy Birdsong in 1962, according to her website. After Birdsong left to join Diana Ross and the Supremes, the remaining members rebranded themselves as as a trio called LaBelle in 1971.

Nona Hendryx (left), Patti LaBelle (center), Sarah Dash (right), 1975. | Image: Epic Records/Wikipedia

The group became a pioneer in R&B and rock music, thanks to their famous 1974 hit “Lady Marmalade,” which rocketed to No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. The iconic song was later re-recorded by Christina Aguilera, Mýa, Pink and Lil’ Kim for the Moulin Rouge! Soundtrack in 2001.

After LaBelle split up in 1976, Dash launched a solo career, releasing several albums featuring songs like “Sinner Man,” which reached No. 71 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. Over the years, she also recorded with The Rolling Stones and Keith Richards’ X-Pensive Winos.

The girl group reunited in 2008 for the critically acclaimed album Back to Now. And in 2016, Dash was honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award by The National R&B Music Society, per the organization.

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