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From her beginnings with Patti LaBelle & The Bluebelles (the sweethearts of The Apollo Theater); to LaBelle (a trio made up of Patti LaBelle and Sarah Dash) — the groundbreaking rock funk band of the 70s; followed by a stunning solo career; and then inducted into The Rhythm & Blues Foundations’ Hall of Fame in 1999, Nona Hendryx has always been on the cutting edge of music. Her songs are edgy, provocative, political and full of double entendres and empowering messages that enabled the trio to break the traditional girl group mold. Their stage show was the forerunner of the epic productions we expect today and they were the only contemporary black group to take their ‘Wear Something Silver’ show to New York’s prestigious Metropolitan Opera House and to major theatres and Opera Houses across the world. Labelle racked up three gold albums and a number 1 worldwide hit with, “Lady Marmalade (Voulez Vous Coucher Avec Moi Ce Soir?).”
Her solo efforts have been equally challenging. From Rock (Nona 1977) to funk (Female Trouble) to New Age (SkinDiver), with top ten hits including ”Bustin’ Out,” “Keep It Confidential,” “Transformation,” “Why Should I Cry?,” “I Sweat (Goin’ Thru the Motions)” and “Winds of Change,” and fruitful collaborations with MATERIAL, ARTHUR BAKER, PRINCE, PETER GABRIEL, DAN HARTMAN and TALKING HEADS sandwiched in between.
Over the past few years Nona has worked with many young rappers/poets/hip hop artists ranging from a cameo appearance in an India.Irie video to a duet with Bounty Killer to production and co-writes for the film, “Preaching to the Choir,” with Rahzel, Dead Prez’s M1, and Res’s producers Doc and Khaliyl. Nona scored “Preaching to the Choir” with many songs included on the soundtrack. Nona wrote ‘System’ feature in the 2010 Oscar nominated film ‘Precious’ directed by Lee Daniels, for the 2009 Labelle Reunion CD ‘Back to Now’. Nona wrote or co wrote the majority of the ‘Back To Now’ CD. The film also includes another recording by Labelle, ‘It Took Along Time’ and “Now That I Know Who I Am” written by Nona is included on the “Precious” soundtrack.
She collaborated on lyrics and vocals with ex-Tangerine Dream’s musician Paul Haslinger. on the Golden Globe winning Showtime series “Sleeper Cell”.
Nona collaborated with Charles (does he have a last name?) on the successful ‘play with music’ BLUE in 2000. The play, written by Charles and directed by Sheldon Epps, began at The Arena Stage in Washington, DC and then transferred to The Roundabout Theatre Group’s New York Gramercy Theatre for a three-month run where it broke box office records by selling out every performance. BLUE starred Phylicia Rashad (of popular TV’s “The Cosby Show” fame). Nona composed eleven new songs for the production. In 2008, BLUE premiered in California and is currently on a cross-country road tour prior. The Randolph-Wright/Hendryx team are working on a multi-media cyber musical based on Hendryx’ Private Music CD, SkinDiver.
A driving force in the entertainment industry, Nona Hendryx wears many hats. All these abilities are coming together when, Nona Hendryx presents HopeStock’s ‘Unfiltered’ music series: ‘Music that gets 2 U’. Featuring an eclectic mix of artists whose songs touch the heart and rouse the soul. The HopeStock team are working with Nona Hendryx to promote and support ‘live’ performance by new artists.
Hendryx is a Grammy Nominee for “Rock This House” (featuring The Rolling Stones’ Keith Richards on guitar) and an Emmy Nominee for her collaboration with Jason Miles on the composition “Children of the World” recorded by Sounds of Blackness for “People,” a Disney animated, children’s special.
Recently, Nona has toured with "The Daughters of Soul' (Sandra St. Victor, Indira Khan, Lisa Simone, Lalah Hathaway and Joyce Kennedy) doing festivals in Europe. Toured in the U.S with Cyndi Lauper on the ‘True Colors’ Tour. Nona reunited with Patti Labelle and Sarah Dash for a tour over the winter of 2008 to July, 2009.
Always pushing boundaries, Nona performs solo at Art Festivals, Museums and Galleries in the U.S and Internationally. Nona has performed ‘Untethered’ at London’s Somerset House WiFi installation, the GE Theater at Proctor, the Michael Werner Gallery & VW Gallery (London & Germany). Nona performs in audio clothing created by Benoit Maubrey, an ‘Audio Tutu’ – a self-contained sound system allowing her freedom to explore non-conventional performance spaces and to merge music, multi-media technology (ipod, Yamaha Tenori-on; a hand held digital music synthesizer and a Theremin) with the environment and art.