Nona Hendryx (Biography)

Early Life and Career: Nona Bernis Hendryx, born on October 9, 1944, in Trenton, New Jersey, is an American singer, songwriter, record producer, and author. She is best known as one-third of the iconic group Labelle, famous for their hit "Lady Marmalade." Nona's deep, soulful voice and her ability to experiment with various music genres make her a versatile and influential artist.

Labelle: Nona Hendryx began her music career with Sarah Dash and Patricia Holte (later known as Patti LaBelle) in the group Patti LaBelle and the Bluebelles. In the 1970s, the group transformed into Labelle, a groundbreaking band known for their futuristic costumes and bold music that blended soul, funk, rock, and political themes. Hendryx became the principal songwriter for the group, writing many of their biggest hits.

Solo Career: After Labelle disbanded in 1976, Nona Hendryx embarked on a solo career. Her first solo album, "Nona Hendryx" (1977), was a mix of soul and hard rock. Although commercially unsuccessful, she continued to experiment with various styles, including funk, rock, and new wave. In the 1980s, she collaborated with the experimental funk band Material and released several successful solo albums, such as "Nona" (1983) and "The Heat" (1985). Her 1987 single "Why Should I Cry?" became a top 10 R&B hit.

Collaborations and Contributions: Hendryx has collaborated with numerous artists and bands, including Talking Heads, Peter Gabriel, Prince, and Keith Richards. She has also provided vocal contributions to various soundtracks and written songs for other artists, such as Dusty Springfield and Ultra Naté.

Acting and Theater: In addition to her music career, Nona Hendryx has acted and composed music for theater. She wrote and performed the theme for the film "Landlord Blues" and had a small role in the movie. She also appeared in the TV series "The L Word" and was involved in the theater production "Blue."

Activism and Personal Life: Nona Hendryx is an active advocate for LGBTQ+ rights and participated in Cyndi Lauper's True Colors Tour to raise awareness about discrimination and the LGBTQ+ community. She has lived on the Upper West Side of New York City since the 1970s, and her long-term partner is English talent manager Vicki Wickham. Hendryx discussed her bisexuality in an interview with The Advocate.

Awards and Recognition: Hendryx's contributions to the music world have been recognized with various awards and nominations, including a Grammy nomination for the song "Rock This House" with Keith Richards. She has also received an Emmy nomination for her work as a composer.

Recent Years: Nona Hendryx remains active in music and art, focusing on new projects and collaborations. In 2012, she released her album "Mutatis Mutandis," followed by the 2018 EP "Keep Funkin," produced by Soul Clap and featuring contributions from Nile Rodgers. Her ability to explore different music genres and her commitment to social justice make her a lasting force in the music industry.