Powerhouse R&B singer and actress Sarah Dash has died at age 76, according to Trenton, N.J. Mayor Reed Gusciora.
“Our resident legend and Trenton’s very first music ambassador, Sarah Dash, has passed away,” Gusciora wrote on Facebook today.
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A Trenton native, Dash was co-founder of Patti LaBelle & The Bluebelles, which opened for The Rolling Stones in the 1960s. With LaBelle, Dash went on to co-found the pioneering R&B/rock group LaBelle, with Nona Hendryx and Patti LaBelle, which was more adventurous musically and sartorially than its predecessor.
The group hit its peak in the mid-’70s with the song “Lady Marmalade,” which went to number one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.
The song went to the top of the charts again when it was famously re-recorded by Christina Aguilera, Mýa, Pink and rapper Lil’ Kim for the Moulin Rouge! soundtrack.
After working with The Stones, Dash also performed in the film Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band in 1978.
In 1995, Dash reunited with LaBelle for “Turn It Out” on the To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything! Julie Newmar soundtrack. That song went on to hit number one on the dance chart.
Grammy winner LaBelle posted a tribute to her friend and collaborator on Twitter, saying they sang together as recently as this past weekend.
“We were just on stage together on Saturday and it was such a powerful and special moment,” LaBelle wrote. “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 … loyal friend and a voice for those who didn’t have one.”
LaBelle ended by saying, “I am heart broken…Rest in power, my dear sister.”
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