By Michael P Coleman

It’s been a rough year or so for fans of girl groups.

Within a year of each other, The Supremes’ Barbara Martin and Mary Wilson passed away. Monday, we lost Sarah Dash of Labelle. All three ladies were 76 years old when they died. No cause of Dash’s death has been given.

Bandmate Nona Hendryx described Dash as the “glue” that held her group together, vocally. Dash soldiered on after her lead singer, Patti LaBelle, went on to international superstardom.

When I spoke with Dash in 2015, she had just released her first gospel album, The Seventh Child. During that hourlong telephone conversation, she was thoughtful, inspirational, and loving in her reflections on her bandmates, with whom she retained a strong connection. Her last performance was with Labelle just last Saturday.

Dash was also quite philosophical with me when discussing life in general, including the twists and turns that can take some people out.

“When it’s time for change to come, it has to come,” Dash told me. “That’s the one thing I love about life.”

May we all learn to manage life’s curve balls as graciously as Dash did. And may the legend rest in peace.

Check out my 2015 feature with Sarah Dash, first published with the Sac Cultural Hub.

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Michael P Coleman is a Sacramento based freelance writer who has his eye on the Pulitzer Prize. 

Connect with him at or  follow his blog, his IG and his Twitter


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