As well as her time in Labelle, she worked with the likes of Nile Rodgers and The Rolling Stones
Sarah Dash, who co-founded legendary funk, disco and R&B outfit Labelle alongside Patti LaBelle and Nona Hendryx, has passed away at the age of 76.
Born in Trenton, New Jersey in 1945, Sarah Dash moved to Philadelphia and first joined forces with Labelle and Hendryx as a member of a vocal group known first as The Ordettes, then as The Bluebelles and then, later, as Patti LaBelle & The Bluebelles. The group had several US hits in the early 60s, starting with 1962's I Sold My Heart To The Junkman, but by 1967 fourth member Cindy Birdsong had left to take up a place in The Supremes.
The three remaining members persevered under the new moniker of Labelle, touring with the likes of The Who and scoring a massive hit in the early days of disco with 1974's Lady Marmalade, taken from the Nightbirds album. The song has since been covered several times, notably by All Saints in 1998 and by Christina Aguilera, Lil’ Kim, Mýa and Pink in 2001, the latter recording featuring in the soundtrack to the film Moulin Rouge. Its success also led to Labelle becoming the first Black vocal group to perform at New York's Metropolitan Opera House.
Labelle would make two more albums before the trio split up to pursue solo careers, with Dash recording four solo albums and working as a session vocalist for the likes of Nile Rodgers, The O'Jays and The Rolling Stones before Labelle reunited for one final album, Back To Now, in 2008.
Since then Dash has focused mostly on gospel music, while also giving a lot of her time to various charities and working as a motivational speaker.
The cause of her death has not been revealed.