Sarah Dash, the singer and founder of the R&B group Labelle, has passed away at the age of 76 on Monday, September, 20th.
The star was known for such hits as ‘Lady Marmalade’ and possessing a voice that was as smooth as it was powerful, a unique skill that endeared her to many fans over the years of her long and illustrious career.
In a statement submitted to Billboard, fellow Labelle singer, Patti LaBelle, wrote: “We were just on stage together on Saturday and it was such a powerful and special moment.”
Adding: “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. 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.”
Before concluding: “She was a true giver, always serving and sharing her talent and time. I am heartbroken, as I know all of her loved ones and fans are. But I know that Sarah’s spirit and all that she has given to the world live on. And I pray that her precious memory brings us peace and comfort. Rest in power my dear sister. I love you always!”
Dash was born in Trenton, New Jersey, in August of 1945 and it was here that she met fellow Labelle collaborators, Nona Hendryx and Patti LaBelle.
By the mid-1970s the group had made themselves a force to behold in modern music with a progressive mindset that coupled perfectly with their cutting-edge funk sound. Their biggest, ‘Lady Marmalade’, being a pro-sex worker anthem is a perfect paradigm of what they were about.
Following the band’s breakup in 1976, Dash embarked on a solo career that resulted in four creditable albums, as well as collaborating with the likes of Nile Rodgers and the Marshall Tucker Band.
As Gloria Gaynor befittingly penned: “I’m saddened to hear of the passing of my peer and fellow New Jerseyan, Sarah Dash. We have lost yet another great talent. My heartfelt condolences to her family, friends & fans.”