Entertainment

Joni Sledge, Member of Sister Sledge, Dies at 60

Joni Sledge, a member of the famed pop sibling quartet Sister Sledge, has died, a representative for the band said Saturday. She was 60.

Sledge died at her Phoenix home Friday afternoon, the rep said. Her cause of death has not been disclosed.

“Yesterday, numbness fell upon our family,” said a statement issued by her family. “Pray for us as we weep for the loss of our sister, mother, aunt, niece and cousin Joni Sledge. 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.”

Sister Sledge formed in 1971 and went on to record such hits as “We Are Family,” “He’s the Greatest Dancer” and “Frankie.”

Joni was the second-oldest of sisters Debbie, Kim and Kathy, who are daughters of entrepreneur/actress Florez Sledge and acclaimed Broadway performer Edwin Sledge.

Their grandmother, Viola Beatrix Hairston Williams, was an alumna of the Juilliard School and of Bethune-Cookman College, where she was a personal protégé of founder Mary McCloud Bethune.

An accomplished lyric-opera soprano in her own right, Williams provided unique vocal training to the siblings early on, arranging for her granddaughters to perform at church events and community functions.

The quartet, introduced to the world as “Mrs. Williams’ granddaughters,” before long formed a band and, with Debbie serving as vocal arranger, Joni as artistic director and mom Florez as manager, Sister Sledge was born.

The Grammy-nominated “We Are Family,” released in 1979, peaked at No. 2 on the Hot 100. The song also topped the R&B and disco charts and was a rallying cry for the 1979 Pittsburgh Pirates team that won the World Series.

The album of the same name reached No. 3 on the Billboard Top 200.

“Recording the track ‘We Are Family’ was like a one-take party — we were just dancing and playing around and hanging out in the studio when we did it,” Sledge once recalled in an interview with the Guardian.

She is survived by her son, Thaddeus, and sisters Debbie, Kim and Kathy.

Tags
Show More

Stacy M. Brown

I’ve worked for the Daily News of Los Angeles, the L.A. Times, Gannet and the Times-Tribune and have contributed to the Pocono Record, the New York Post and the New York Times. Television news opportunities have included: NBC, MSNBC, Scarborough Country, the Abrams Report, Today, Good Morning America, NBC Nightly News, Imus in the Morning and Anderson Cooper 360. Radio programs like the Wendy Williams Experience, Tom Joyner Morning Show and the Howard Stern Show have also provided me the chance to share my views.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


By submitting this form, you are consenting to receive marketing emails from: Washington Informer Newspaper, 3117 Martin Luther King Jr. Ave SE, Washington, DC, 20032, http://www.washingtoninformer.com. You can revoke your consent to receive emails at any time by using the SafeUnsubscribe® link, found at the bottom of every email. Emails are serviced by Constant Contact

Back to top button

My News Matters to me - Washington Informer Donations

Be a Part of The Washington Informer Legacy

A donation of your choice empowers our journalists to continue the work to better inform, educate and empower you through technology and resources that you use.

Click Here Today to Support Black Press and be a part of the Legacy!

Subscribe today for free and be the first to have news and information delivered directly to your inbox.


By submitting this form, you are consenting to receive marketing emails from: Washington Informer Newspaper, 3117 Martin Luther King Jr. Ave SE, Washington, DC, 20032, http://www.washingtoninformer.com. You can revoke your consent to receive emails at any time by using the SafeUnsubscribe® link, found at the bottom of every email. Emails are serviced by Constant Contact
Close

Adblock Detected

Please consider supporting us by disabling your ad blocker