Edna Wright, lead singer of The Honey Cone, dies

(September 13, 2020) She was part of one of the great “girl groups” of the early 70s, and the sister of one of the most notable singers of the 20th Century. Today we say a sad goodbye Edna Wright, best known as the lead singer of the Honey Cone, and the sister of the legendary Darlene Love.

Love posted the bad news on Facebook, “I’m in complete shock and so heartbroken by the sudden loss of my beautiful baby sister.” And now so is the rest of the world.

The L.A. native Wright began singing in her minister father’s church. But her famous sister made sure she met many of the hot writers and producers of the 60s, including Phil Specter, and Wright began to find working singing in various recording groups, including Hale and the Hushabyes and The Girlfriends. Ultimately, she teamed with Carolyn Willis and Shelly Clark to form The Honey Cone, a trio formed in the mold of the Supremes in the late 60s.

(September 13, 2020) She was part of one of the great “girl groups” of the early 70s, and the sister of one of the most notable singers of the 20th Century. Today we say a sad goodbye Edna Wright, best known as the lead singer of the Honey Cone, and the sister of the legendary Darlene Love.

Love posted the bad news on Facebook, “I’m in complete shock and so heartbroken by the sudden loss of my beautiful baby sister.” And now so is the rest of the world.

The L.A. native Wright began singing in her minister father’s church. But her famous sister made sure she met many of the hot writers and producers of the 60s, including Phil Specter, and Wright began to find working singing in various recording groups, including Hale and the Hushabyes and The Girlfriends. Ultimately, she teamed with Carolyn Willis and Shelly Clark to form The Honey Cone, a trio formed in the mold of the Supremes in the late 60s.

The connection to the Supremes became even more evident when Motown hitmakers Holland-Dozier-Holland left the label to form their own Hot Wax/Invictus imprint, they signed the Honey Cone, and what followed was a string of solid R&B hits and a few monster across-the-board smashes. 1971’s “Want Ads” was a clever, upbeat number about a search for a good man, and it became a certified gold charttopper. The trio again hit the top with the calypso-tinged “One Monkey Don’t Stop No Show.”

By the mid-70s the hits began slowing down, and Hot Wax’s financial troubles spelled the end for the group. Wright then began a solo career, but found her niche mostly as a session singer, working with major artists, including her sister.

While it has been many years since we heard music from Edna Wright, her role in the development of soul music during its most prolific period shouldn’t be underestimated. She was a talent and we will continue to listen to her music with joy.

By Chris Rizik

 
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