Episode 66. Six Degrees of Patti LaBelle. The Queen. The Legendary Godmother of Soul. Hosted by Troy Saunders, Wanda T., and Arif St. Michael.
This episode in our series on the career and music of the legendary Patti LaBelle will focus on the life of the great Sarah Dash. Special guest is B.J. Nelson. She was known as “The Voice” before Whitney Houston was “The Voice”.
B.J. Nelson began singing in the late '60s in her hometown of Pittsburgh, fronting a band called Insane Soul. She moved to New York in 1979 and after becoming a member of T.M. Stevens' band, T-Bird. During her time with T-Bird, B.J. met guitarist Ronald "Head" Drayton, which led to her becoming a member of Nona Hendryx's band. She has also worked with Duran Duran, Power Station, Will Downing and Robert Palmer.
Sarah Dash was a founding member of the groundbreaking, million-selling vocal trio LaBelle, along with Patti LaBelle and Nona Hendryx. She brought her church-rooted soprano and high harmonies to LaBelle, which began as a 1960s girl group before reinventing itself as a socially aware, Afro-futuristic rock and funk powerhouse, costumed in glittery sci-fi outfits and singing about revolution as well as earthy romance. In 1974, LaBelle had a No. 1 hit, “Lady Marmalade,” and performed the first concert by a pop group - and a Black group - at the Metropolitan Opera House in New York City.