Sarah Dash, 'Lady Marmalade' Singer & Member of R&B Group Labelle, Dead at 76 -- Patti LaBelle Pays Tribute
By Zach Seemayer
Bobby Bank/Getty Images
Songstress and music legend Sarah Dash has died. The beloved vocalist, best known for her work with the acclaimed R&B group Labelle, died on Monday at age 76.
Dash's death was confirmed by her bandmates Patti LaBelle and Nona Hendryx on social media, both of whom shared heartfelt tributes to the beloved vocalist.
"We were just onstage together on Saturday and it was such a powerful and special moment," LaBelle wrote in a message posted to Twitter on Tuesday morning. "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," LaBelle continued. "She was a true giver... always serving, always sharing her talent and her time."
LaBelle expressed that she is "heartbroken" by the news of Dash's death, but that she knows "Sarah's spirit and all that she has given to the world live on!"
"I pray that her precious memory brings us peace and comfort," the singer concluded. "Rest in power my dear sister. I love you always."
Hendryx, meanwhile, shared a tribute to Instagram that included audio of Dash singing the group's hit "Nightbird" over throwback footage of Dash performing on stage at a Labelle concert.
"Sarah, Nightbird, I rarely used your last name, seems out of place. Words are inadequate so I will use few," Hendryx shared. "We spoke a musical language, music says it best. Singing brought us together, You, Me and then You, Me, Cindy and Pat; Bluebelles."
"You and Pat were singing so joyfully the other night, we talked & texted on Saturday, now you’re gone, I can’t believe it," she continued. "Nightbird, why not let heaven be your home."
As the group Labelle, Dash, LaBelle, Hendryx gave the world one of the most iconic funk rock tunes of all time with their 1974 single "Lady Marmalade," off the group's best-selling album, Nightbirds.
The group later released the album Phoenix in 1975, and Chameleon in 1976, then decided to part ways after the band's 1977 tour. She then embarked on a solo career, and worked with Keith Richards and The Rolling Stones.
After reunited for numerous TV appearances and occasional performances, Labelle reunited in 2008 for a new album, Back to Now, their first recording together in over 30 years.
No cause of death or details regarding Dash's passing have yet been released.