Izora Rhodes Armstead, a singer in two disco/pop acts, died on Sept. 16 of heart failure. She was believed to be 62. One-half of the Weather Girls and Two Tons O’ Fun, Armstead was best known for singing “It’s Raining Men,” a hit song that became an anthem in the gay club scene.
Born in Texas and raised in San Francisco, Armstead met her music partner Martha Wash in the gospel group News of the World. They entered show business in 1976 as backup singers for disco artist Sylvester and sang on four of his albums.
In 1979, Armstead and Wash formed the solo act Two Tons O’ Fun. They released two albums before disco went out of fashion. When the Honey/Fantasy label dropped them, the duo regrouped as pop artists under the name The Weather Girls. Signed to Columbia Records, they recorded three albums and charted twice with “No One Can Love You More Than Me” and “It’s Raining Men.” The Weather Girls amicably disbanded in 1988.
Armstead moved to Frankfurt the following year and formed a new version of The Weather Girls with her daughter Dynell Rhodes. The mother/daughter act toured for several years.
“A powerful voice has been stilled here, only to sing on a bigger and grander stage beyond the clouds. She definitely will be missed,” Wash stated on her Website.