Nona Hendryx life and biography

Nona Hendryx picture, image, poster

Nona Hendryx biography

Date of birth : 1944-10-09
Date of death : -
Birthplace : Trenton, New Jersey, U.S.
Nationality : American
Category : Arts and Entertainment
Last modified : 2023-10-09
Credited as : singer-songwriter, rock-soul icon, Labelle trio, Lady Marmalade, Vicki Wickham, RCA label

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Nona Hendryx: A Remarkable Journey Through her Life and Career as Musician

Nona Hendryx, a multifaceted American talent, is a vocalist, producer, songwriter, musician, author, and actress. Her diverse career spans across several creative realms, leaving an indelible mark on the world of entertainment.

The Labelle Era

In the vibrant 1970s, Nona Hendryx was a vital part of the experimental rock-soul group Labelle, alongside pop diva Patti Labelle. While Hendryx contributed significantly to their music, it was their iconic hit, the cheeky disco anthem "Lady Marmalade," that catapulted them to stardom. Labelle's "high, torrential harmonies," as noted by Entertainment Weekly writer Tom Moon, set them apart, transforming ordinary songs into extraordinary and captivating events.

A Journey of Solo Exploration

After Labelle disbanded, Nona Hendryx, Patti Labelle, and Sarah Dash pursued solo careers with varying degrees of success. Hendryx embarked on a prolific solo journey marked by a series of records that showcased her remarkable ability to explore new musical styles.

Born on October 9, 1944, in Trenton, New Jersey, Hendryx's early career saw her singing in a Philadelphia girl group known as the Del Capris. Subsequently, she joined forces with Patricia Holt (who would become Patti Labelle), Sarah Dash, and Cindy Birdsong to form the BlueBelles. Their path led them to the world of music, with early hits like "Down the Aisle" and covers of beloved tunes.

The Labelle Transformation

Vicki Wickham, a successful British television producer, became their manager and producer, rebranding them as "Labelle." This transformation was marked by futuristic outfits, rock covers, and even opening for The Who on their U.S. tour. Their funk-infused albums like "Labelle" and "Moon Shadow" earned critical acclaim, while Hendryx contributed her songwriting skills.

The Breakthrough with "Lady Marmalade"

A significant turning point for Labelle was their shift to the RCA label, leading to the release of "Pressure Cookin'" in 1973. While Hendryx penned most of the songs, commercial success remained elusive. It was their move to Epic and the 1974 release of "Nightbirds" that truly made an impact. The racy "Lady Marmalade," penned by Bob Crewe and Kenny Nolan, reached number one in 1975, elevating Labelle to new heights.

A Solo Odyssey

Following Labelle's success, Nona Hendryx ventured into solo territory. Her self-titled debut album in 1977 faced marketing challenges due to the industry's uncertainty about a black female rock singer. Nevertheless, her studio work introduced her to influential musicians and producers, leading to collaborations with Talking Heads and Bill Laswell. Hendryx's second solo effort, "Nona" in 1983, featured an impressive lineup of musicians and earned critical acclaim.

The Ongoing Journey

In 1989, Nona Hendryx established her own label, Private Music, releasing "Skin Diver." Her commitment to music endured, and she continued to explore her craft with releases like "The Art of Defense" and "Heat." Despite notching up any Top 40 hits, her albums consistently made a mark on the R&B charts. Hendryx remained active in the music scene, navigating its challenges, and advocating for emerging artists.

Beyond Music

Beyond her musical pursuits, Nona Hendryx has been an advocate for HIV and AIDS causes. She has also ventured into theater, composing music for off-Broadway productions. Hendryx's enduring legacy was further emphasized when her hit "Lady Marmalade" was covered by a pop-star supergroup in 2001.

Today, Nona Hendryx continues to tour and create, leaving an indelible mark on the music world. She is also recognized for her role in forming the group Daughters Of Soul, which has achieved considerable success on the European tour circuit. Hendryx's unwavering dedication to music and her willingness to explore new frontiers continue to inspire generations.

Albums by Nona Hendryx:

-Nona Hendryx, 1977, Epic
-Nona, 1982, RCA Records
-The Art of Defense, 1984, RCA
-The Heat, 1985, RCA
-Female Trouble, 1987, EMI
-Skin Diver 1989, Private Music
-You Have To Cry Sometime (with Billy Vera) 1992, Shanachie
-Mutadis, Mutandis, 2011

Singles and EPs by Nona Hendryx;

-"Everybody Wants to Be Somebody", 1977, Epic
-"You're the Only One That I Ever Needed", 1979, Arista Records
-"Love It", 1979, Arista
-"Snakes Alive", 1979, Arista
-"Love Is Like an Itching in My Heart", 1980, Barclay
-"Busting Out", 1980, Island Records
-"Holiday", 1980, Island Records
-"Do What You Wanna Do", 1982, Metropolis
-"Do What You Wanna Do", 1982, Hot Tracks Remix, 1983
-"Keep It Confidential", 1983, RCA (R&B No. 22, Club No. 25, Pop No. 91) (written by Ellie Greenwich, Jeff Kent, Ellen Foley)
-"Keep It Confidential", 1983, Hot Tracks Remix, 1983 (written by Ellie Greenwich, Jeff Kent, Ellen Foley)
-"Transformation", 1983, RCA (R&B No. 40)
-"B-Boys", 1983, RCA (Club No. 25)
-"I Sweat (Going Through The Motions)", 1984, RCA (R&B No. 28)
-"To the Bone", 1984, RCA
-"Heart of a Woman", 1984, RCA
-"If Looks Could Kill (D.O.A.)", 1985, RCA (R&B No. 71)
-"Sun City", 1985, Manhattan Records (Billboard Hot 100 chart No. 38, UK Singles Chart No. 21)
-"I Need Love", 1985, RCA (R&B No. 68)
-"Baby Go-Go", 1987, EMI (R&B No. 60)
-"Why Should I Cry?", 1987, EMI, (R&B No. 5, Club No. 6, Pop No. 58, UK No. 60[23])
-"Winds of Change (Mandela to Mandela)", 1987, EMI
-"SkinDiver", 1989, Private Music Records
-"Women Who Fly", 1989, Private Music Records
-"Urgently in Love", (with Billy Crawford), 1998
-"It's a Party", (with Bounty Killer), 1998
-"The Ballad of Rush Limbaugh", 2010
-"The Tea Party", 2011
-"In Praise of Older Men (Father, Brother, Lover, Son)", 2016
-"Walk with Me", 2016
-"Shine (This Is It) (With Soul Clap)", 2016
-"Shine (This Is It) (With Soul Clap) (EP)", 2017
-"Keep Funkin'", 2018, Soul Clap Records

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