Labelle is an American all female singing group who were a popular vocal group of the 1960s and 1970s. The group was formed after the disbanding of two rival girl groups in the Philadelphia/Trenton areas, the Ordettes and the Del-Capris, forming as a new version of the former group, later changing their name to The Blue Belles (later Bluebelles). The founding members were Patti LaBelle, Sundray Tucker, Nona Hendryx and Sarah Dash. Tucker left before the group cut their first record and was replaced by Cindy Birdsong.
As The Bluebelles, and later Patti LaBelle and the Bluebelles, the group found success with ballads in the doo-wop genre, most notably, "Down the Aisle (The Wedding Song)", "You'll Never Walk Alone" and "Over the Rainbow". After Birdsong departed from the group to join The Supremes in 1967, under the advice of Vicki Wickham, the group changed its look, musical direction and style and reformed as Labelle, in 1971. Their funk rock recordings of that period were cult favorites and they were raved for their brash interpretation of rock and roll and for dealing with subject matter that was not touched by black groups. Finally after adapting glam rock and wearing outlandish space-age and glam rock-adorned costumes, the group found success with the proto-disco smash, "Lady Marmalade", in 1974, leading to their parent album, Nightbirds, becoming a platinum success. They are notable for being the first contemporary pop group and first black pop group to perform at the Metropolitan Opera House.
The group went on their own after the end of a tour in 1976 going on to have significant amount of solo success, especially Nona Hendryx, who followed an idiosyncratic muse into her own solo career, which often bordered on the avant-garde and Patti LaBelle, who's enjoyed a very successful Grammy-winning solo career.
The group returned with their first new album in 32 years with 2008's Back to Now.
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