“We were just onstage together on Saturday [Sept. 18] and it was such a powerful and special moment,” group namesake Patti LaBelle said in a statement sent to Billboard; see part of that performance in the Instagram video below. “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. She was a true giver, always serving and sharing her talent and time. I am heartbroken, as I know all of her loved ones and fans are. But I know that Sarah's spirit and all that she has given to the world live on. And I pray that her precious memory brings us peace and comfort. Rest in power my dear sister. I love you always!”
Born Aug. 18, 1945 in Trenton, N.J., Dash created a vocal duo called the Capris before relocating to Philadelphia in the mid-‘60s. It was there that she teamed up with Nona Hendryx, Patti LaBelle (neé Patricia Holte) and Sundray Tucker as members of a quartet called The Ordettes. When soon-to-be Supremes member Cindy Birdsong replaced Tucker, the group changed its name to The Bluebelles in 1962. After another moniker switch to Patti LaBelle and the Bluebelles, the group garnered attention with R&B ballads, including a reinterpretation of “Over the Rainbow” which has since become a LaBelle concert fave, and also opened for the Rolling Stones in the early ‘60s.