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Labelle Co-Founder and R&B Legend Sarah Dash, Dead at 76

Singer Sarah Dash, co-founder of the Grammy Hall of Fame group Labelle, which topped the charts in 1974 with the disco smash hit “Lady Marmalade," died Monday a the age of 76 according to reports from multiple media outlets.

No cause of death has been released but Trenton Mayor Reed Gusciora, a close friend of the New Jersey native, confirmed the death posting on Facebook: “Trenton lost a star today with Sarah Dash’s passing. She is now with the angels.”

Photo Credit Instagram @sarahasindash

Called “the woman with the silver throat” by fellow R&B legend and Labelle frontwoman, Patti LaBelle, Dash co-founded Patti LaBelle & The Bluebelles which evolved through several iterations before becoming the rock and funk-infused Labelle.

In 1974 the group, then comprised of Dash, LaBelle and Nona Hendryx, scored its signature hit "Lady Marmalade" helping to spark the rise of disco as well as propelling the trio to worldwide notoriety.  Following the release that year they became the first "rock and roll" act to play the Metropolitan Opera House. Labelle was also the first group of African-American vocalists to be featured on the cover of Rolling Stone.

The group recorded five studio albums together before going their separate ways. They remained close, however, reuniting serval times. 

"We were just on stage together on Saturday and it was such a powerful and special moment," Patti LaBelle said in a statement to the New York Daily News following Dash's death. "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.”

Dash (far right), in a publicity still for the Labelle's with lead singer Patti LaBelle (center) and Nona Hendryx.

Dash never stopped singing and performing. She earned a hit with the song "Sinner Man" as a solo artist in the 70s and had a top-10 hit in the 80s with "Lucky Tonight." She also was a session singer and toured and recorded with many groups, most notably the Rolling Stones. Dash also worked on several of Keith Richards' solo efforts. 

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