Boston Globe, July 8, 2012
NEW YORK— Let’s say you formed your first band as a Trenton, N.J., teen in the ’50s. You helped invent funk in a trio, LaBelle, that found cult status in the ’70s. You pioneered sci-fi themes before George Clinton. Later, you forged ahead as a solo artist and in collaborations with everyone from Yoko Ono to the Talking Heads.
You might be forgiven, at 67, for resting on your laurels. But that isn’t the Nona Hendryx way.
“Rust never sleeps,” says Hendryx. “I enjoy using my energy. What else are you going to do on this planet?”
In the cool of her midtown Manhattan studio, the singer strikes a naturally edgy elegance, clad in a form-fitting gray ensemble accessorized with silver jewelry. Gold records and industry memorabilia adorn the wall.
To the world at large, Hendryx is known as one-third of LaBelle, the band with the 1974 hit “Lady Marmalade.” (The one with the saucy French chorus, “Voulez-vous coucher avec moi ce soir?”) But here in New York, she’s appreciated for all she’s done since, as a songwriter, creator, mentor, and activist.