CNN has reported that singer Joni Sledge, is dead. Joni, along with her siblings Kathy, Kim, and Debbie, formed the singing group known as Sister Sledge, in 1971. The Sledge family reported that 60-year-old Joni was found in her home, in Phoenix AZ. by a friend, on Friday. No cause of death is known at this time. A family spokesperson stated that Ms. Sledge had not been ill.

Celebrity deaths

The Sister Sledge family is not alone in their grief. The world mourns because it's always difficult for fans when beloved celebrities pass away. Thus far this year, in addition to Ms.

Sledge, Bill Paxton died at 61, and "Game of Thrones" Neil Fingleton at 36. Beloved Debbie Reynolds, died a day after her daughter Carrie Fisher who passed away at 60, Robert Osborne of Turner Classic Movies, died on March 8th, after dealing with health issues which forced him to stop hosting for the TCM network.

Famous people who come into our homes for decades via television or through the radio often feel as if they are really a part of our families. And their deaths may be felt even stronger than when a blood relative passes. Consider all the people who camped out at the homes of Michael Jackson and Prince after they died. Joni Sledge did not have that level of fame but even so, it is sad that she is dead at 60.

'We are Family'

Joni and her sisters' most famous hit was "We are Family," which was released in 1979. The song was popular at Disco's and was nominated for a Grammy. Both the song and the album of the same name sold more than one million copies each. "We are Family" became an anthem for many women and families. It continues to be popular to this day.

The Sledge Sisters however, did not remain a family group of four. In 1989 Cathy departed to embark on a solo career. According to Fox news, the three remaining siblings continued touring as a trio. In 2015 they gave a performance for Pope Francis. Their last concert was in October 2016. Joni Sledge is survived by her sisters, a son, and other relatives.

The Sledge family and fans are feeling the loss right now, but in time can take comfort from the hit song that Joni Sledge was a part of. "We are Family" has gone down in history as one of those tunes where everybody gets up to dance when they hear it. This song has spanned 30 years and as long as people are willing to listen to it, Joni Sledge will always be a part of us.