Joni Sledge from Sister Sledge was found dead in her home on Friday night.
Joni was a member of disco group Sister Sledge, who she founded with her sisters Debbie, Kim and Kathy in the 70s. They were behind so many influential early dance tracks such as 'We Are Family', 'He's The Greatest Dancer' and 'Lost In Music'.
According to Biff Warren, the band’s publicist, Joni was found dead in her home in Phoenix, Arizona, by her friend, and the cause of death has not yet been identified.
Before reaching stardom, the band said they struggled for years due to the tough nature of the music industry. But after linking up with Chic’s Nile Rodgers and Bernard Edwards who produced their album ‘We Are Family’, they found commercial success with their Grammy-nominated title track, and both the song and album sold more than 1 million copies worldwide.
Nile Rogers paid tribute to Joni Sledge on Twitter: "My heartfelt condolences to your family because they are my family too. We did something pretty amazing together."
A family statement said: “On yesterday, numbness fell upon our family. We welcome your prayers as we weep the loss of our sister, mother, aunt, niece and cousin.”
Joni Sledge will be greatly missed and fondly remembered by the legacy of her music.
Jaguar is Mixmag's Weekend Editor. Follow her here