Clockwise from top left: Sister Sledge’s Joni Sledge, Kim Sledge, Debbie Sledge and Kathy Sledge, circa 1977 (Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)

Joni Sledge of the iconic disco group Sister Sledge died from natural causes. Her sister Kim Sledge, 59, spoke to the New York Daily News on Friday, her first interview since Joni passed away last week.

“It was a shock to all of us,” Kim said to the Daily News. “We believe that God just took her home. She led a good, clean life. It was natural causes.

“I think it was just Joni’s time to go too,” she continued. “She’s with our mom, and we feel the peace of that.”

Kim revealed that the band was due to perform Saturday night at the Cypress Bayou Casino in Charenton, La., and said that she and Debbie (their other sister, Kathy, left the foursome in the late 1980s) still planned to perform and to use it as an opportunity to celebrate Joni’s legacy.


“We know she’ll be on that stage with us. We really are that close,” Kim said. “I’m actually kind of relieved. It will be good to sing because singing is something we do that’s healing. We can sing her favorites. We might even sing some new material she wrote. I think it’s just going to be a concert where we love on each other.”

She said the family will return to Phoenix for a service Tuesday and then head to their hometown of Philadelphia for another memorial, where her body will be laid to rest next to other members of the Sledge family who have died.

Read more at the New York Daily News.