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Joni Sledge, 'We Are Family' singer dead at 60

UPI News Service, 03/13/2017 

Joni Sledge of musical group Sister Sledge, best known for releasing 1979 hit "We Are Family," has died at the age of 60.

"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," the band said in a statement Saturday on Facebook.

"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," they continued.

The group's publicist Biff Warren notes that Joni was found at her home in Arizona and that a cause of death has yet to be determined, NPR reports.

Sister Sledge, consisting of Joni and three of her sisters Debbie, Kim and Kathy, were formed in 1971.

They rose to fame eight years later with the release of "We Are Family" written by Bernard Edwards and Nile Rodgers of Chic.

The song was nominated for a Grammy and sold more than one million copies alongside the accompanying album of the same name.

The Sister Sledge, minus Kathy who started to pursue a solo career in 1989, continued to record and tour including a 2015 performance for Pope Francis.

The group was scheduled to appear at the Cypress Bayou Casino in Charenton, La. on March 18.

Joni is also survived by her son and other relatives.

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