When Sade Pendavis died earlier this year, the crying was as loud and soulful as her amazing singing always was.
Last night at Therapy, Sade’s drag cohorts put on a tribute performance by singing her hits and and telling stories about the colorful diva’s quirky charm.
Sherry Vine, Epiphany, Raven Oh, Harmonica Sunbeam, The Lady Bunny, and Flotilla DeBarge rocked it out for Sade.
Bunny remembered that when Sade played the drag festival Wigstock, the crowd was horrified as she went into “New York State of Mind.”
Said Bunny, the hipsters didn’t want to see a black queen covering Billy Joel.
But that lasted about five seconds.
Quickly enough, they were swept along by her inspiring talent and were singing along and crying.
Bunny also noted that Mr. Marijuana had something to do with Sade’s easygoing attitude–or as Sade called it “the chief.”
Relayed Flotilla: “Sade would say, ‘I’ve been with the chief.'”
Flo added: “Sometimes I’d call her Kizzy [from Roots] because she’d talk like a runaway slave.” And she loved her White Castle!
By the way, one of the performers blew me away so hard I’ll never need to see the chief.
Her name is Princess Brittany, and she hobbled onto the stage on crutches, and proceeded to flawlessly lip-synch Jennifer Holliday‘s version of “I Believe I Can Fly,” using the crutches as wings as she delicately raised them, one at a time, to signify flight.
At the climax of the song, Princess Brittany defiantly flung each crutch to the ground and became free, finishing the number on the floor, brimming with some old-school drama and emotion.
She was helped off to bravos.
And the spirit of Sade lives.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on May 8, 2012