Sarah Dash, who died less than a month ago (on Sept. 20) at the age of 76, was honored tonight with induction into the New Jersey Hall of Fame. The pre-taped hour-long ceremony was hosted by Danny DeVito and shown on television and online, and is embedded below. (The Dash segment begins at the 41:15 mark.)
The Trenton native, who was a member of the group Labelle as well as a solo recording artist, had recorded her acceptance speech soon before her death, and the ceremony included that speech, as well as tributes, also recorded before her death, by her Labelle bandmates Patti LaBelle and Nona Hendryx, Rolling Stones member Keith Richards (Dash worked with both the Stones and Richards’ X-Pensive Winos band) and Rolling Stones drummer Steve Jordan.
Dash, LaBelle and Hendryx were also shown together, presumably right before or after taping their messages, singing a bit of the Labelle hit “Lady Marmalade” together.
“It means so much to me,” said Dash, about her induction.
She also said that “studying music has been a very important part (of my life) to me. Being the music and arts ambassador for the city of Trenton means more. … I’m inspired by the work that I’ve done with Trenton Makes Music, but most of all, this is the best one yet: The induction. I just want to say thank you again, for all of your support and love. And for those who have come behind me, keep trying.”
LaBelle said Dash has “The most beautiful high voice I’ve ever heard — angelic. The nicest person. I mean, she loves the world. And I learned a lot from Sarah Dash. Thank you, Sarah, for teaching me.”
“Sarah is very generous and she’s always helping the youth in New Jersey, and working with the mayor’s office in Trenton, NJ,” said Hendryx.
Carol Riddick, Terry Jones and Helen Bruner closed the show by singing Dash’s single “Sinner Man” together.
Elsewhere in the hour-long broadcast, former “Hamilton” cast member Rory O’Malley sang that musical’s “You’ll Be Back” in honor of inductee Alexander Hamilton. And John Pizzarelli sang Carole King’s “You’ve Got a Friend,” accompanying himself on guitar, to honor this year’s NJ Hall of Fame Unsung Heroes: 9/11 first responders who have suffered complications and died due to their service.
Both former president George W. Bush and Supreme Court justice Amy Coney Barrett spoke in praise of inductee Antonin Scalia, and Quincy Jones spoke about jazz guitarist and singer George Benson. Former New Jersey Gov. Tom Kean helped induct economist and Federal Reserve chairman Paul Volcker, and Gen. Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, honored Gen. Gustave F. Perna.
Here is the New Jersey Hall of Fame Class of 2021, with the Hall’s descriptions (some of which I’ve modified slightly):
ARTS & LETTERS
Dorothea Lange*, Hoboken, documentary photographer
Anne Morrow Lindbergh*, Englewood, author and aviator
George Benson, Englewood, jazz guitarist, singer and songwriter
Sarah Dash*, Trenton, member of Labelle
Mary Chapin Carpenter**, Princeton, country music singer-songwriter
Madeline McWhinney Dale*, Middletown, first female officer/vice-president of the Federal Reserve Bank
Madame Louise Scott*, Newark, founder of Scott School of Beauty Culture & chain of beauty salons
Paul Volcker*, Cape May, 12th Chair of the Federal Reserve
Sara Spencer Washington*, Atlantic City, founder of Apex News and Hair Company
Val Ackerman, Pennington, first president of the Women’s National Basketball Association
Monte Irvin*, Orange, outfielder in the Negro leagues and Major League Baseball who played with the Newark Eagles, New York Giants and Chicago Cubs
Margaret Bancroft*, Haddonfield, founder of Bancroft, nonprofit serving individuals with disabilities
Alexander Hamilton*, Elizabeth, founding father and first secretary of the treasury
David Mixner, Elmer, political activist and author
William Paterson*, South Branch, signer of the U.S. Constitution, Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, and second governor of New Jersey
Gustave F. Perna, Rockaway, U.S. Army four-star general/COO of the federal COVID-19 response
Antonin Scalia*, Trenton, Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court from 1986 until his death in 2016
*Being honored posthumously.
**Previous inductee, but being formally inducted this year
For information, visit njhalloffame.org.
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