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Labelle Co-Founder Sarah Dash Dead At 76

Sarah Dash, co-founder of the all-female group Labelle, passed away on Monday, September 21, at the age of 76.

Dash’s bandmate Patti LaBelle announced her 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, who completes the Labelle trio, also shared the news of her friend’s passing on Instagram, writing, “Words are inadequate so I will use few. We spoke a musical language, music says it best. Singing brought us together…”

Dash initially started in the group The Ordettes before forming The Bluebelles, who later changed their name to Patti LaBelle and the Bluebelles. In the early 1970s, they shortened it to Labelle.

The trio are best-known for “Lady Marmalade,” a song about New Orleans sex workers from their 1974 album Nightbirds. The song reached No. 1 on both the Billboard Hot 100 and Hot Soul Singles chart. It was voted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 2003.

(Photo: Epic Records)

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