Joni Sledge, singer-songwriter and member of the 1970s musical group Sister Sledge, died on Friday at age 60, her family announced on Facebook.
A cause of death has not been disclosed.
Debbie, Joni, Kim and Kathy Sledge pooled their talents to form Sister Sledge in 1971 and rose to the top of the chart eight years later with their breakout single “We Are Family,” which earned them a Grammy nomination and the No. 2 spot on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart.
Among their other hits was “My Guy” in 1982 and “Frankie” two years following.
The family’s Facebook post read:
Yesterday, numbness fell upon our family. We are saddened to inform you that our dear sister, mother, aunt, niece and cousin, Joni passed away yesterday. Please pray for us as we weep for this loss. We do know that she is now eternally with Our Lord.
We thank you in advance for allowing us the privacy to mourn quietly as a family. We miss her and hurt for her presence, her radiance, and the sincerity with which she loved & embraced life.
We love you & God Bless You all.
The Sledge Family”
After Kathy left the group in 1989 to pursue a solo career, the remaining Sledge sisters went on to record “World Rise and Shine,” which reached No. 1 in Italy and lead to the trio hosting their own show there.
Seven years later, Joni witnessed a shooting and penned and recorded with her sisters the protest song “Brother, Brother Stop.” She went on to produce their eighth studio album, “African Eyes,” which was nominated for a Grammy as best produced CD.
Sister Sledge has performed at The White House, on the famous pyramid stage at the Glastonbury Music Festival in the U.K. and for Pope at The World Festival of Families in Philadelphia.