In Memoriam: Joni Sledge (September 13, 1956 – March 10, 2017)

(Billboard Magazine) Joni Sledge, the second eldest sister in the hit pop group Sister Sledge, has died, a representative for the band says.

Sledge passed away at home in Phoenix, Ariz., Friday afternoon (March 10). She was 60 years old. Her cause of death has not been disclosed.

“Yesterday, numbness fell upon our 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,” a statement issued by her family says.

Sister Sledge is an American musical group from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Formed in 1971, the group consisted of sisters Debbie, Joni, Kim and Kathy Sledge. The year 1979 saw the release of their breakthrough album We Are Family, which peaked at number three on the US Album Chart and went Platinum. With Kathy leaving in 1989, the group have since operated as a trio (with Kathy occasionally re-joining for one-off performances and several releases in the 1990s). Symbolizing strong family values, the siblings achieved international success at the height of the disco era.

Sister Sledge’s 1979 single “We Are Family” reached number two on the US Billboard Hot 100 and earned them a Grammy Award nomination. Their other US hits include a 1982 cover of “My Guy”. The group had UK Top 20 hits with “Mama Never Told Me” (1975), “He’s the Greatest Dancer” (1979), “We Are Family” (1979), “Lost in Music” (1979), and “Thinking of You” (1984), before reaching number one on the UK Singles Chart with the song “Frankie” in 1985. Remixed versions of three of their singles in 1993 returned them to the UK Top 20. In 2015, Sister Sledge performed for Pope Francis at the World Festival of Families in Philadelphia. – Wikipedia

http://www.billboard.com/articles/news/7718232/joni-sledge-dead-sister-sledge

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