Sarah Dash, a member of the revolutionary girl group Labelle, has died at 76. No cause of death was given, but it was apparently unexpected.
Dash was born in Trenton in 1945 to a pastor father. She grew up singing gospel music, but then joined a booming girl group scene when she moved to Philadelphia in the ’60s. After jumping between a few different bands and formations, she joined Patti LaBelle, Nona Hendryx and Cindy Birdsong in the Bluebelles in 1962. In the mid-1960s, this group sang doo-wop and R&B, until Birdsong left to join the Supremes. The remaining trio rebranded themselves as Labelle and began to transform stylistically.
In the 1970s, Labelle gained notoriety for gender mergers and pushes the boundaries of what girl groups stereotypically approach, becoming increasingly political and sexual. The band had success with “Lady Marmalade” and success until the mid-1970s. Eventually, they split up in 1977 and Dash quickly turned to a solo career with their debut in 1978. This album featured his disco hit. “Sinner Man”.
Dash was also associated with the Rolling Stones. After meeting Keith Richards in the 60s, she ended up going on tour with him in the late 80s, which also led to her singing on the Stones album in 1989. Steel wheels. In the 90s, she created a one-woman show called “Dash Of Diva”. After reuniting with their former bandmates Labelle here and there over the years, the trio have released a new album titled Back to now In 2008.
Review some of Dash’s work below.