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Sister Sledge bio by glen Cross

The Sisters Written by Glen Cross

Sisters Debbie, Joni, Kim and Kathy Sledge have been wowing audiences all over the world with their catchy tunes, positive image, energetic stage shows and stunning good looks for over two decades. Born in Philadelphia to Edwin and Florez Sledge, both performers in their own right, music was in their blood. They began singing as Mrs. Williams Grandchildren at church socials, teas and civic events under the guidance of their Grandmother Viola Williams, a former opera singer and retired social worker. Their parents split while they were still young and Florez began to work two and three jobs to make ends meet. While Florez was in the workforce the sisters were perfecting their craft at home in front of the mirror with their oldest sister Carole, now a school teacher. After performing around the Philadelphia area for free, someone finally offered them more money than their mother was making from her respective jobs. That was the beginning of Florez guiding her daughters musical career. A connection that their sister Carole had with the R & B group, The Stylistics led to the sisters first recording, a very Jackson 5 sounding song called "Mama Never Told Me". The sisters became much in demand background vocalists for famed producers Gamble and Huff. While still in high school they landed their first major recording contract with Atco Records and released their first album "Circle of Love". The first single, "Love Don't Go Through No Changes On Me" marked the sisters debut on the R & B charts in 1975. That same year the sisters also won first prize at the prestigious Tokyo Music Festival, an award that has been previously won by Stevie Wonder and Dionne Warwick. In 1977 they recorded their second lp "Together", which only enjoyed moderate success. By the end of 1978, three of the sisters had graduated from Temple University and the group was becoming frustrated with spending long hard nights on the road and not reaping many benefits. They decided that if they didn't hit it big by the next year, they would disband and pursue their individual careers. This was when they teamed up with Nile Rodgers and Bernard Edwards, the masterminds behind the hit making group Chic. This union produced the multi-platinum selling album "We Are Family" that was written, produced and arranged by the dynamic duo and made Sister Sledge a household name. The first single "He's The Greatest Dancer" shot up to the top of the charts and became their first gold single. The title cut, "We Are Family" became an anthem for families, solidarity unions and gay rights groups all over the country, but it was the Pittsburgh Pirates use of the song during their win of the 1979 World Series that took them over the top. It was one of the top selling disco albums of that era. The sisters teamed up again with Rodgers and Edwards for their follow-up lp ""Love Somebody Today" in 1980. Though this effort was not as successful as "We Are Family", it did once again put the sisters on the charts and kept them on the road. In an effort for more creative control over their music, the sisters teamed up with Narada Michael Walden to co-produce and co-write their fifth album, "All American Girls". It became one of their most critically acclaimed efforts hitting the R & B Top 10 and the title track becoming a Top 5 R & B hit. Independence Day had finally arrived when Cotillion Records allowed them to produce their own album, "The Sisters". It featured a remake of the Motown classic, "My Guy" and became one of the few songs by an R & B act to cross over in 1982. By the next releases, 1983's George Duke produced "Betcha Say That To All The Girls" and 1985's Nile Rodgers produced "When The Boys Meet The Girls", the hits started to dwindle, at least in the States. It was another story overseas. In 1984 a remix of "Lost In Music" featuring added vocals by Duran Duran shot to number one in the UK. "When The Boys Meet The Girls" went gold overseas and the first single "Frankie" became a number one hit. The sisters became a main attraction overseas, but legalities with their record company put a halt to their recording career for the latter part of the eighties with the exception of a few soundtrack appearances. then, youngest sister Kathy left the group to pursue a solo career releasing her 1992 debut, "Heart". Its first single, "Take Me Back To Love" became a number 1 dance hit with many to follow, making her a main attraction on the dance circuit. Sisters Debbie, Joni and Kim continued to tour Europe and even released a cd, "And Now...Sister Sledge Again", featuring some remakes of their hits and some new material. A few years later they released a live cd. Remixes of Sledge classics, "We Are Family", "Lost In Music" and "Thinking Of You" kept the sisters on the charts overseas and in the hearts of partiers all over the world. Currently, sister Kathy is working on her second solo release and contemplating a Sledge reunion for a swing jazz project. Just like the great music that they have created in the past, the Sister Sledge beat will continue to go on....BACK