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Joni Sledge (1956–2017), one of sisters behind hit song “We Are Family”

by Legacy Staff

Joni Sledge, a member of the family group Sister Sledge who recorded the dance anthem “We Are Family,” died Friday, March 10, 2017, in Phoenix, according to The Associated Press. She was 60.

Publicist Biff Warren told The Associated Press that she was found dead in her home by a friend. The cause of death wasn’t immediately determined.

Sledge, alongside her sisters Debbie, Kim, and Kathy, formed the singing group Sister Sledge in Philadelphia in 1971. Their biggest hit, “We Are Family,” was released in 1979 and reached No. 1 on the R&B charts and No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100. Written and produced by Chic’s Nile Rodgers and Bernard Edwards, the song became an anthem of female empowerment and celebration and was used as a theme song for the 1979 World Series champion Pittsburgh Pirates.


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The family released a statement: “On yesterday, numbness fell upon our family. We welcome your prayers as we weep the loss of our sister, mother, aunt, niece and cousin.”

Sledge is survived by her adult son, sisters, and several other family members.

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