Kathy Sledge of the group Sister Sledge to perform for the Pope. Courtesy Edna Sims, ESP Public Relations.
The legendary singing group Sister Sledgeis scheduled to perform in connection with the World Meeting of Families in honor of the upcoming Papal visit to their hometown Philadelphia on September 26, 2015 on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, but only in part.
Recent rumors have been substantiated that although the performance is being promoted as though all four original members of the group will be in concert, sisters Joni, Debbie and Kim have refused to allow youngest sibling Kathy, original member and iconic voice of Sister Sledge, from participating in the performance.
The familial dispute that has long been developing between the sisters, well-known for their legacy of family unity that stems from their triumphantly voiced and most famous hit record “We Are Family,” has ironically culminated into an opportunity for the sisters to put their differences aside before Pope Francis and the World Meeting of Families to perform for their fans.
While the sisters have all explored their own solo projects and careers, over the years the group has traditionally joined forces to perform their iconic hit songs for historic events such as the Papal visit. Beginning in 1974, Sister Sledge captured the hearts of the world during their “Rumble in the Jungle” performance in Zaire and they have came together during President Clinton’s tenure to perform at the White House, as well as President Obama’s first Inaugural ball and on television with Oprah Winfrey.
Although the details surrounding the current dispute are unclear, media outlets have obtained a heartfelt letter from Kathy to her sisters Joni, Kim and Debbie requesting that the group put any differences aside and unite as family to perform as one before Pope Francis and the fans in their hometown city of brotherly love.
Sister Sledge, a popular group from the days of disco music in the ’70’s . Edna Sims, ESP Public Relations
World Meeting of Family directors in charge of the performance have not been available for comment and sisters Joni, Kim and Debbie have not responded to any requests from Kathy. Fans of the singing group have taken to social media expressing their hope for a reunion.
Sister Sledge is an American musical group from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Formed in 1971, the group was originally composed of sisters Debbie, Joni, Kathy and Kim Sledge. With Kathy leaving in 1989 the group have since operated as a trio (with Kathy occasionally re-joining for one-off performances and several releases in the 1990s). Having enjoyed marginal success in Europe during the middle of the decade, mainstream success was achieved when breakthrough album We Are Family was released in 1979.
Kathy Sledge (born January 6, 1959) is an American singer who has had several hits on the International Pop and Hot Dance Music/Club Play chart, including “Take Me Back to Love Again“, which hit #1 in 1992. She is the granddaughter of former opera singer Viola Williams, and daughter to Florez Sledge and former Broadway star Edwin Sledge of dance-tap duo “Fred and Sledge”.
She was the youngest of four in the music group Sister Sledge and enjoyed many pop, R&B and dance/pop hits with her sisters Debra, Joni and Kim. Kathy performed the lead vocals to their biggest hits, “He’s the Greatest Dancer“, “We Are Family” and “Frankie“.