Joni Sledge, Of “We Are Family” Group Sister Sledge, Dies At 60

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Joni Sledge, of iconic disco-era sibling act Sister Sledge, has died at age 60. The cause of death has not been released, though a statement has been released. “We thank you for privacy as we hurt for her presence, but also for embracing her radiance and the sincerity with which she loved life,” her family said on Facebook.

Sister Sledge famously were about to quit music, before they met Bernard Edwards and Nile Rodgers of Chic, who would end up producing We Are Family. Then came the hits, like 1979’s “The Greatest Dancer,” as sampled in Will Smith‘s “Gettin’ Jiggy Wit It.” Sister Sledge has had 19 hits chart on the Hot 100 altogether.

Of course, that includes We Are Family‘s classic title track, which peaked at No. 2 on the Hot 100. (The album reached No. 3 on the Billboard 200.) While youngest sister Kathy ended up leaving Sister Sledge to go solo, Sister Sledge continued performing “We Are Family” as recently as 2015, for Pope Francis nonetheless. You can still detect the group’s influence on music today, via En Vogue and TLCDestiny’s Child and Fifth Harmony.

See Nile Rodgers, La Toya JacksonQuestlove of the Roots and Rah Digga pay tribute to Joni Sledge below.

[via Los Angeles Times]

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