*Earlier today we reported the death of comedian/actor Anthony “AJ” Johnson. Now, we must report the passing of Sarah Dash, the so-called “sexy-one” from the classic R&B trio LaBelle, which of course was fronted by Patti LaBelle.
Dash, one of the 4 original members of group, died today at the age of 76. She remained with LaBelle until they disbanded in the mid to late 70s and all three remaining members, Patti Labelle, Nona Hendrix, and Sarah went their separate ways with recording deals.
The trio’s most famous single was “Lady Marmalade” a song about a French prostitute.
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Dash’s death – in her hometown of Trenton, NJ – was unexpected and the cause was unknown, although she had complained to family that she was not feeling well in the days before her passing, Mayor Reed Gusciora told Trentonian.com.
“She was superstar in her own right,” Gusciora said. “She could have gone anywhere after her fame and success and she chose to come back to her roots in Trenton.”
Mayor Gusciora said the city hopes to honor Dash’s life in a big way in the coming weeks.
“It’s a devastating loss for the city. We would just like to be there to celebrate her life and legacy,” he said.
The seventh of 13 children born to a pastor and nurse, Dash started off her career with the girl-group Del Capris and later teamed up with Grammy-award-winner Patti LaBelle. She went on to tour alongside Keith Richards of The Rolling Stones.
Dash signed to Don Kirshner’s label (Midnight Special) and released a hit disco single in the late ’70s “Sinnerman.”
She has done various appearances with Patti and Nona over the years as well as on a recent project featuring all three. By the way, Cindy Birdsong was the original fourth member of LaBelle and was hired away by Motown chief Berry Gordy to replace Florence Ballard after she was fired from The Supremes in 1967.