Joni Sledge, who has died aged 60, sang with her siblings in Sister Sledge, the US group whose disco-era smash We Are Family transcended its origins to become an anthem for female empowerment.
By the late 1970s, the four sisters in the band – Debbie, Joni, Kim and Kathy – were becoming frustrated at gaining only minor success. Kim had started law school.
Their record label, Atlantic, then teamed them with the producers and songwriters Nile Rodgers and Bernard Edwards, who as the band Chic embodied the hypnotic rhythms of disco.
The sessions would yield four huge hits that in 1979 brought the group international recognition: He’s the Greatest Dancer; Lost in Music; Thinking of You (which charted in the UK in 1984); and the title track of their platinum-selling LP, We Are Family.
The extrovert Joni Sledge later recalled its recording as a “one-take party”. The band’s tight choreography, bright...
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