Rhoda Dakar

Rhoda Dakar played an important part in the shaping of a woman's role in ska. The lead vocalist and chief songwriter for the all-female, London-based rocksteady band the Bodysnatchers, Dakar recorded several singles on the 2-Tone label founded by Specials leader Jerry Dammers. "Let's Do the Rock Steady" reached the 18th position on the Billboard charts in 1980. Following the demise of the Bodysnatchers in 1981, Dakar remained active as a vocalist. After performing on the Specials album More Specials, singing "I Can't Stand It" with background vocals by the Go-Go's, she formed the Special A.K.A. with Dammers and other members of the Specials. The group's sole album, In the Studio With..., included the anthem "Free Nelson Mandela" and a reworking of the Bodysnatchers' haunting tune "The Boiler." In 2015, Dakar recorded an album of Bodysnatchers material with a band including members of the Specials and Madness; the album was released as Rhoda Dakar Sings the Bodysnatchers. ~ Craig Harris

    Hampstead, England
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