12/03/2017 07:46 GMT | Updated 12/03/2017 07:59 GMT

Joni Sledge Dead: Sister Sledge Singer Dies, Aged 60


Joni Sledge of legendary disco group Sister Sledge has died, aged 60.

The singer, who formed the group with her sisters Debbie, Kim and Kathy in 1971, was found unresponsive by a friend at her home in Phoenix, Arizona, her publicist said. A cause of death has not been determined.

Joni (second from right) with her sisters.

Her sudden death was announced in a post on Facebook by her family.

“Yesterday, numbness fell upon our family,” the statement read.

“We are saddened to inform you that our dear sister, mother, aunt, niece and cousin, Joni passed away yesterday.”

It added: “We miss her and hurt for her presence, her radiance, and the sincerity with which she loved and embraced life.”

The group were best known for the disco classics ‘Lost In Music’ and the Grammy-nominated ‘We Are Family’, which sold more than a million copies after it was released in 1978.

Fred Prouser / Reuters

”Recording the track ‘We Are Family’ was like a one-take party ― we were just dancing and playing around and hanging out in the studio when we did it,” Joni once recalled to the Guardian.

They also scored huge worldwide hits with ‘He’s the Greatest Dancer’, ‘Thinking Of You’ and ‘Frankie’.

Chic star Nile Rodgers, who was behind the group’s biggeest hits including ‘We Are Family’, was one of the first to share his condolences.

He tweeted: “#RIPJoniSledge #WeAreFamily My heartfelt condolences to your family because they are my family too. We did something pretty amazing together.”

Other stars from the world of music also took to Twitter to pay their respects...

Joni is survived by her son.

Watch the video for ‘We Are Family’ below...

Photo gallery RIP: Stars We Lost In 2017 See Gallery