Joni Sledge, the singer best-known for “We Are Family,” has died at the age of 60.
According to BBC News, Sledge, who formed Sister Sledge with her three siblings in 1971, was found unresponsive by a friend at her home in Phoenix, Arizona, her publicist said. It’s unknown at this time what caused her death, but her publicist stressed that Jodi hadn’t been sick.
On Saturday night, her family released news of Joni’s death on Facebook: “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. We miss her and hurt for her presence, her radiance, and the sincerity with which she loved and embraced life.”
The group was slated to perform in Los Angeles next week.
In 1971, Joni and her three sisters Debbie, Kim and Kathy formed the group Sister Sledge in their hometown of Pittsburg, The Hollywood Reporter noted. In addition to their 1978 Grammy-nominated banger “We Are Family,” the group was also known for “He’s the Greatest Dancer,” “Lost in Music” and a cover of the Motown classic “My Guy.”
Sledge is survived by her adult son, sisters and other family.
RIP Joni. You will be missed.
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20 Things You Didn’t Know About The Legendary Michael Jackson
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1. MJ was a victim of physical abuse from his father as a child. In an interview with Oprah Winfrey, he shed tears and claimed that he was so terrified of his father that he would often vomit when he saw him.
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2. His favorite animated character from childhood was Pinocchio.
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3. When MJ listened to the songs from his days in The Jackson 5, he said he sounded like “Minnie Mouse.”
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4. His middle name was Joseph – Michael Joseph Jackson.
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5. “Billie Jean” is allegedly based on a true story. MJ claims an obsessive fan tried to say he was the father of her child.
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6. His first song to hit the top of the Billboard Hot 100 chart was “Ben” in 1972.
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7. MJ was a huge Beatles fan. He paid $47 million for the publishing rights to the Beatles back catalogue in 1985 and sold a share of it to Sony in 1995 for $95 million.
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8. Get this… The costumes for the “Thriller” video came from the Salvation Army.
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9. Jackson invented and owns the patent for the special anti-gravity boots he wore that allowed him to lean forward extremely far in live performances of “Smooth Criminal.”
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10. MJ loved animals, and had several…strange pets. He had a python called Crusher, two llamas called Louis and Lola, and his most famous pet was Bubbles, the chimpanzee.
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11. Sources say MJ “borrowed” the Moonwalk from street dancers he saw outside a hotel.
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12. The original song title for “Thriller” was “Starlight.”
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13. Sources say MJ slept in an oxygen tent to live longer and for cosmetic purposes.
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14. MJ was a proud owner of a 2,700-acre Neverland Ranch that has a theme park, a menagerie, and a movie theater.
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15. “Home Alone” star Macaulay Culkin was one of MJ’s closest friends, and is the godfather of two of Jackson’s children.
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16. MJ’s estate signed a deal with Sony that gave them access to his unreleased recordings for $250 million.
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17. MJ often wore a black armband to remind people of the suffering of children around the world.
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18. The Los Angeles mansion he was renting just before he passed away once belonged to Sean Connery.
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19. MJ was allegedly a pretty avid reader… He was once accused by a library of owing $1 million in overdue book fines.
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20. Wikipedia, Twitter, and AOL’s Instant Messenger all crashed at 3:15PM on the day MJ died: June 25, 2009.
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