Joni Sledge of the famed R&B group Sister Sledge has passed away. She was 60.
Reports the Associated Press:
Sledge was found dead in her home by a friend in Phoenix, Arizona, on Friday, the band’s publicist, Biff Warren, said. A cause of death has not been determined. He said she had not been ill.
“On yesterday, numbness fell upon our family. We welcome your prayers as we weep the loss of our sister, mother, aunt, niece and cousin,” read a family statement.
Sledge and her sisters Debbie, Kim and Kathy formed the Sister Sledge in 1971 in Philadelphia, their hometown, but struggled for years before success came.
“The four of us had been in the music business for eight years and we were frustrated. We were saying: ‘Well, maybe we should go to college and just become lawyers or something other than music, because it really is tough,'” Joni told The Guardian in an interview last year.
The group, which consisted of her Joni and her sister, Debbie, Kim and Kathy Sledge, would link with Bernard Edwards and Nile Rodgers and soon score their first big hit “The Greatest Dancer.” But their biggest hit is the easily recognizable anthem “We Are Family.”
Rest in power Joni Sledge.