Joni Sledge of musical group Sister Sledge dies at 60
The sisters Joni, Debbie and Kim made up Sister Sledge. Kathy, a fourth sister, was another original member but left the ensemble in 1989, according to the group’s website.
The group became famous in 1979 with the Grammy-nominated “We Are Family,” written by Bernard Edwards and Nile Rodgers of Chic. The song celebrated familial bonds, became a staple at weddings and was adopted as an unofficial anthem by the Pittsburgh Pirates during their 1979 championship season.
“We Are Family” peaked at No. 2 on the Hot 100 and topped the R&B and disco charts, Billboard said. The album of the same name reached No. 3 on the Billboard 200.
A younger generation became familiar with the group’s song, “He’s the Greatest Dancer,” when it was famously sampled in Will Smith’s 1998 hit “Gettin’ Jiggy Wit It.”
Though their hit-making days were behind them, Sister Sledge remained active. Their next show had been scheduled for March 18 and a series of European performances was planned.
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