'We are family': Sister Sledge singer Joni Sledge dies aged 60

Tom Powell
Sister Sledge: Joni (centre) with other family members in 2006: REUTERS

Sister Sledge star and ‘We are family’ singer Joni Sledge has died at the age of 60.

She was found unresponsive at her home in Phoenix, Arizona, on Friday, according to the band’s publicist.

Ms Sledge and her sisters Debbie, Kim and Kathy formed Sister Sledge in 1971.

A statement on the group's Facebook page said: "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.

Joni Sledge died at her home in Arizona (REUTERS)

"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."

The band's official Twitter page shared a photograph of Sledge with the caption: "We love you Joni."

He wrote on Twitter: "#RIPJoniSledge #WeAreFamily My heartfelt condolences to your family because they are my family too. We did something pretty amazing together."

La Toya Jackson also paid tribute to the singer, saying: "So sorry to hear that Joni Sledge has passed, my condolences to her family, friends and love ones. #Sistersledge we are family! #RIP", while TV star Ru Paul tweeted a screengrab of a Sister Sledge playlist with the short caption: "Sister Sledge Forever."

A cause of death has not been determined.

Ms Sledge is survived by an adult son.

By using Yahoo you agree that Yahoo and partners may use Cookies for personalisation and other purposes