October 1, 2004 by

Izora Rhodes Armstead

20 comments

Categories: Musicians

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.

It's Raining Men Download “It’s Raining Men”

20 Responses to Izora Rhodes Armstead

  1. Charlie D

    Izora, taken from us far too early, this loss brings your family, friends and fans tremendous sadness. You’ll always be remembered for doing what you loved – singing and being the entertainer that you are. God bless you and your family.

  2. Mark Thomas

    This was truly a shock to me.I’ve enjoyed Izora for many years as a “youngster.” I remember Izora,singing in churches all over the San Francisco,Bay area.I’ll never forget her singing with “The San Francisco Inspirational Choir” With the late Warren “Donnel” Hickman, along with Martha Wash.I’m so glad that Izora left us with a body of musical work that we can enjoy forever. God bless the family in their berevement and especially to Dynell whom I’ve known since she was a child at St Mark Baptist Church.(I briefly played piano for them, while Izora was with Sylvester)Izora is now on the “old ship of Zion” for early one morn’ she got on board.

  3. Earlyn P. Boyd

    Izora and I grew up together, we played at different churches, we had a youth fellowship that we played for. I miss her but I know that she is in a better place.

  4. Nicte

    I’m a young spanish boy.
    I had red the new of the dead of Izora in the website Martha Wash.
    Right now I’m listening the midi of IT’S RAINING MEN,and I feel very very surprised.
    I will never forget to Izora and The Weather Girls.
    God blessed her.
    Bye!

  5. Lavenderbyrd

    I was so saddened to learn of Izora’s death. I have been a great admirer for years of this hardworking entertainer and mother, who had so much talent with her music. I have manage to collect just about everything she ever recorded and have but one regret…. that she wasn’t with us longer so she could record a gospel cd or a true blues and jazz cd. I believe she would have tore up some great blues songs in the vein of Koko Taylor, Shemekia Copeland, Etta James- style.
    I loved her sense of style and fun, and how she displayed it in her music. I miss her so much and just wanted to give my condolences to her family, whom are in my prayers. Thank you Izora for sharing with the world, so many wonderful years of your music.

  6. tom edwards

    Bless Izora for commanding us “GET ON YOUR FEET AND DANCE TO THE BEAT AND DANCE…….”. I love Martha, but Izora was my favorite Weather Girl.

  7. RITA ROCKETT

    God Bless Izora.. We will always remember you and Martha and Sylvester, At least our dear friends up there have you and Sylvester to Keep
    them Dancing. God Bless your family,
    ps Im sorry this is late I have just learned of this in ohio .
    Love always
    RITA ROCKETT

  8. Linda Laurent

    I just found out today about the passing of the great singer Izora Rhodes Armstead. I grieved when Sylvester died, and now I grieve again. I loved Izora(with the wonderful Martha Wash) singing backup for Sylvester, singing in Two Tons of Fun, and The Weather Girls. A voice that moved me to tears as been silenced.
    I send my condolences to her family and friends.

  9. J Perrington

    I was so saddened by the loss of this great icon of disco and r&b/pop music. Her song,”It’s raining men” is a song that was synonomous with the 80′s music and what it stood for,music that made you feel good.My condolences to the family and friends left to carry on.

  10. Willie R Green III

    I love Izora and Martha I am truly one of Two Tons and the Weather Girls greatest fans.I was hoping to see them some day live in concert. Mrs.Izora rhodes Armstead was a wonderful singer and the world has suffered a great lost!

  11. Ra SHAWN

    I remember attending the conference and tribute honoring Sylvester at NYU and it was then that I learned about the death of Izora.
    I remember when “It’s Raining Men” came out it was hot.
    I’m sorry that we lossed another talented legend who paved the way for many of today’s recording artists today.
    I just wished that she would have lived to take part in the Sylvester tribute concert with Martha Wash.
    That would have been a nice reunion to see them singing together again would have been magical, but I know that she was singing with Martha in spirit and I hope that the industry will honor both Sylvester & The Weather Girls for their contributios to music.
    God bless Izora’s family and I’m glad to know that both she and Martha maintained a great friendship after they chosed to pursue other music paths unlike others who broke up with bad blood between them.

  12. SYB

    I ABSULUTELY ADORED THIS WOMAN’S TALENT. I WAS
    FORTUNATE TO SEE HER PERFORM TWICE. ONCE WITH
    SLYVESTER AND ONCE WITH MARTHA AS THE WEATHER GIRLS.ONE OF THE BIGGEST THRILLS I HAD AS A YOUNG MAN WAS THE CHANCE TO MEET IZORA AND MARTHA AND HAVE MY PICTURE TAKEN WITH THE TWO OF THEM. BUT MOST OF ALL I WILL NEVER FORGET DANCING WITH MY FRIENDS TO “I’VE GOT THE FEELING” AND “EARTH CAN BE JUST LIKE HEAVEN” ALL NIGHT LONG. THANK YOU FOR SOME GOOD TIMES AND GREAT MEMORYS

  13. debra

    My condolences to the family. I love the deep richesness of Izora voice. When the ladies recorded Just us, they left a tune that will forever make people happy. Hearing the song warm my heart so! God Bless you Izora!

  14. shaka

    I know this is late in posting but I recently purchased The Best of the Weather Girls. It is a knock out cd!! I have always loved Izoras deep husky bluesy collard greens voice. I am so gonna miss her. She was a FANTASTIC singer!

  15. Edward Perry

    I know this posting is late, but I was so stricken to learn of Izora Armstead’s passing. I can’t believe I received the information so late. She was a great singer and a great woman!
    I did not know what had become of the Weather Girls until I had to spend several months in the Frankfurt area of Germany in 1997/98. I was requested to sing at a worship service and there was no musician present, this great lady, who I ultimately recognized as Izora Armstead walked up to the piano and began to play marvelously and joined me in the song, “I won’t complain” it was wonderful. I later learned of her “Weather Girls Country Soulfood Kitchen” Restaurant in Hanua, and found that it featured “Jam Sessions” on the weekend. From there it was the place I was to be found on the weekend, enjoying her husand’s great southern cooking and her bands great music. She allowed us to affectionately call her “Mama” and she made me feel right at home even though I was so far away from my family and friends. She and her daughter Dynelle were truly stars in Germany and Europe. I will never forget her. God bless her family!

  16. Paulette Reynolds

    IT IS ONLY TODAY I DECIDED TO CHECK ON WHAT’S HAPPENING WITH TWO TONS O’ FUN, AND SADLY LEARNT THAT IZORA ARMSTEAD PASSED AWAY. I KNOW IT HAS BEEN QUITE SOMETIME, BUT REGARDLESS, HAD TO PAY TRIBUTE TO SOMEONE WITH SUCH A GREAT VOICE.
    I KNOW YOUR ARE SINGING WITH THE ANGELS, SING, SING.

  17. mario alberto lopez

    Realmente estoy muy conmovido por la irreparable perdida de izora , se que ya esta junta a sylvester cantandonos desde el cielo, la musica disco era este trio de voces inigualables a nivel mundial , dios reconforte a su hija de izora y bendice a martha wash para que nos siga deleitando con su maravillosa voz, martha Monterrey Nuevo Leon Mexico te Espera Ven Pronto Chao.

  18. Rodney Hyatt

    The colaboration of Izora, Martha and Sylvester has always been very special to me. As a fellow gospel musician, I wish I’d had the oppurtunity to hear Izora in thet genre. The song “You Are My Friend” very quickly became a staple in the Washington, D.C. area almost as soon as it was released. Martha in her incredible soprano stunned the audience, but it was Izora who brought the house down. May God continue to bless her family. We are all blessed just to have had a chance to hear you sing.

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