Written by: Alex Green
Joni Sledge, one of the founding members of the group Sister Sledge has died.
Sledge was 60.
Although the cause of death is not known, Sledge was found unresponsive in her Arizona home.
Formed in 1971 in Philadelphia, Sister Sledge was a group that was true to its name, consisting of sisters Joni, Kathy, Debbie and Kim. Although best known for their 1979 hit “We Are Family,” by the time that song became associated with the disco zeitgeist, Sister Sledge had already put out several albums and was known internationally, amassing enormous followings from the UK to Japan.
Not only that, but Sister Sledge played with James Brown at the 1974 Rumble In The Jungle concert in Zaire.
Although Kathy left the group in 1989, Sister Sledge stayed at it and in recent years Debbie and Joni played Sheffield’s Tramlines Festival alongside Public Enemy (2014) and a year later collaborated with electronic producer The Revenge for a track called “Stay A While.”
On Facebook the Sledge family posted the following statement:
Yesterday, numbness fell upon our family. We are saddened to inform you that our dear sister, mother, aunt and cousin, Joni passed away yesterday. Please pray for us as we weep for this loss. We do know that she is now eternally with Our Lord.
We thank you in advance for allowing us the privacy to mourn quietly as a family. We miss her and hurt for her presence, her radiance, and the sincerity with which she loved & embraced life.