‘Lady Marmalade’ music legend has advice for would-be reality stars

    “The Braxtons,” “R&B Divas” and “Totally T-Boz” are just a few of the reality shows centered on the lives of famous recording artists. But don’t expect legendary singer Sarah Dash, of the famed group Labelle (“Lady Marmalade”), to do reality TV anytime soon.

    “I have been asked to do a reality show and I turned it down because I didn’t want it for myself,” she revealed. “I have freedom, in a sense, to be who I am, and time to think. The public is always expecting something different from you, so when you are wide open, what do you introduce that they would find interesting?”

    Sarah has admiration for those who are on reality TV, since she believes it takes strength to invite the world into your private life. Still, she warns today’s singers-turned-reality TV stars that it can only be productive if they’re in control and remain true to their craft. “Everything can be positive if you have the ability to have artistic control, so it depends on whose production it is and how much you’re willing to release.”

    These days the 50-year entertainment industry veteran prefers to share her life story before live audiences, whether that’s serving as a featured speaker at the first–ever AARP exhibition Lasting Legacy: The Journey of You [editor’s note: the exhibition was curated by this story's writer], chairing events for the organization Top Ladies of Distinction, or touring her cabaret act, Sarah Dash: One Woman.

    “In One Woman, my audience will see me sing different genres of music and talk about things I’ve experienced in my life. They’ll hear the stories of being a pastor’s kid and having a spiritual experience with my mom that caused me to write a song about her encouraging me from the other side.”

    Should she ever change her mind, Sarah certainly has enough going on to fill a reality show, including promoting singles from her recent album The Seventh Child and working on a follow-up disc of covers.

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