by TRN Staff Writers
In the late 70’s, four beautiful sisters brought family values and the sound of Philly to staggering new heights. The Sledge Sisters…Joni, Kathy, Debbie and Kim released a son that is still a joyful anthem of family, unity and strength.
Nearly 40 years after their hit, “We Are Family” soared to the top of the charts, one of the voices behind Sister Sledge has fallen silent. Joni Sledge died this weekend at the age of 60. She was found dead in her Phoenix Arizona home on Friday. The death comes as a shock to her siblings and fans since the singer had not been ill.
On the singing group’s website, the Sledge family shared their grief in a somber post which reads. “…numbness fell upon our family. We are saddened to inform you that our dear sister, mother, aunt, niece and cousin, Jonie passed away yesterday. Pleas pray for us as weep for this loss.”
The solemn post was accompanied by a beautiful photo of Joni and more words of sorrow from the family…
As word of Joni’s shocking death spread, fans flocked to Sister’s Sledge’s twitter feed and other feeds to share their grief.
Sister Sledge amassed a global following during their career. The group arrived on the music scene in the booming years of disco and with their soulful harmony quickly caught on as a fan favorite. In 1979, the song that would define their career “We Are Family” peaked at number three on the album charts and the single of the same number shot to #2 on Billboard’s Hot 100. The song about family values and love resonated with the world. It also earned the Sledge sisters a Grammy nomination and eventually the album hit platinum status.
Joni and her sisters also hit the top of the charts with a cover of “My Guy”, “Mama Never Told Me” and “He’s the Greatest Dancer”. Though nothing ever came close to the fire that “We Are Family” blazed across the hearts of fans, Sister Sledge still performs concerts to adoring fans who grew up with the sisters.
We here at TRN extend our deepest condolences to the Sledge family, friends and fans of Joni. In tribute, here’s a look at Sister Sledge performing the song that defined their career and personal motto…”We Are Family”. Rest in Paradise Joni.