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  Nona Hendryx
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Arguably the creative force behind Labelle, Nona Hendryx was the group's main writer, her material helping to craft their identity as dynamic, genre-defying soul sisters.  Among the Labelle favorites she penned are "Sunshine (Woke Me Up This Morning)," "Messin' With My Mind," "Chameleon," "Are You Lonely," and "Space Children."

When Labelle broke up amid creative differences, Hendryx continued to chart her own path with the rock-leaning Nona Hendryx in 1977, solidifying her reputation as an artist with an edge.  But in the late 1970s, it was very difficult for a black woman to break the standard modes of disco diva or sanctified soul shouter, and the album did not fare well commercially.  Epic quickly dropped  her from the label, placing their bets instead on the more marketable Patti Labelle. 

As a result, Hendryx began working as a backing vocalist for a variety of acts that included Talking Heads and Material.  She was the featured singer on the latter's downtown club classic "Bustin' Out" in 1981, and they helped produce her RCA debut in 1983
that had the singles "B Boys" and "Keep It Confidential."

Hendryx continued to work with some of the greatest talents through the 1980s, but widespread mainstream acceptance eluded her.

She remains a very active performer who has written several plays in addition to infrequent acting roles.  

     
Nona Hendryx's Deepest Grooves

Nona Hendryx (Epic, 1977)
Ignored at the time and fully deserving of a reissue, the album contained the original version of "Winning," later covered by Santana.

Nona (RCA, 1983)

The Art Of Defense (RCA, 1984)

The Heat (RCA, 1985)

Female Trouble (EMI, 1987)
Her most successful album, with the hits "Why Should I Cry" and the Prince-penned "Baby Go Go."

Skin Diver (Private Music, 1989)

You Have To Cry Sometime (Shanachie, 1992)

Transformation: The Best Of Nona Hendryx (Razor And Tie, 1999)

 

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