Kathy Sledge

Grammy Award Nominee and Former Lead Singer, Sister Sledge
Kathy Sledge — Photo Credit: Shefik

Photo Credit: Shefik

Kathy Sledge is a renaissance woman — a singer, songwriter, author, producer, manager, and Grammy nominated music icon whose boundless creativity and passion has garnered praise from critics and a legion of fans from all over the world. Her artistic triumphs encompass chart-topping hits, platinum albums, and successful forays into several genres of popular music. Through her multi-faceted solo career and her legacy as an original vocalist in the group Sister Sledge, which included her lead vocals on worldwide anthems like "We Are Family" and "He's the Greatest Dancer," she's inspired millions of listeners across all generations. Kathy is currently traversing new terrain with her critically acclaimed show The Brighter Side of Day: A Tribute to Billie Holiday plus studio projects that span elements of R&B, rock, and EDM. Indeed, Kathy's reached a fascinating juncture in her journey.

That journey began in Philadelphia. The youngest of five daughters born to Edwin and Florez Sledge, Kathy possessed a prodigious musical talent. Her grandmother was an opera singer who taught her harmonies while her father was one-half of Fred & Sledge, the tapping duo who broke racial barriers on Broadway. "I learned the art of music from my father and my grandmother. The business part of music was instilled through my mother," she says. Schooled on an eclectic array of artists like Nancy Wilson and Mongo Santamaría, Kathy and her sisters honed their act around Philadelphia and signed a recording contract with Atco Records. Featuring leads by Kathy, "Mama Never Told Me" (1973) and "Love Don't You Go Through No Changes On Me" (1974) scored the group major hits everywhere from the U.K. to Japan, plus the Silver Award at the Tokyo Music Festival. At 15 years-old, Kathy was invited to perform with her sisters at the historic Zaire 74 concert conceived by Hugh Masekela.

However, groundbreaking producers Nile Rodgers and Bernard Edwards (the CHIC Organization) completely revamped the group's image. "Nile and Bernard stylized us," says Kathy. "They saw that these girls can be hot so let's give them some hot, sexy tracks." The #1 We Are Family (1979) album went platinum and earned plaudits from the rock press. "'We Are Family,' beautifully sung by Kathy Sledge, is a near perfect fusion of gospel fire and disco cool," wrote Stephen Holden in Rolling Stone. The song's sentiment also stuck a personal chord with Kathy, who recorded her vocals in one take. "To me, that song is obviously something that my sisters and I were exuding that we didn't even know we had." Gracing magazine covers and appearing on the era's most popular music programs like Soul Train, American Bandstand, and Solid Gold, Kathy and her sisters continued working with top producers like George Duke and Narada Michael Walden. She adds, "I knew I was in the presence of geniuses when working with George Duke and Narada. George was one of the kindest people you'd ever meet. Narada would pull me aside and give me wisdom that I've applied to things I do in my life."

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Last Updated: May 31, 2021



This page uses material from the Wikipedia article "Kathy Sledge" (contributors) which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.

About 'Shefik presents Invocation'

Aptly titled "Shefik presents Invocation", the nationally-syndicated radio show is a mesmerizing and thought-provoking journey through musical discovery and appreciation that spans the decades. The show is currently broadcast on 23 terrestrial radio stations and frequencies throughout the United States. Each one-hour episode, executive-produced and hosted by media personality Shefik, highlights one relatable focal point (chosen by Shefik), along with an accompanying playlist of songs (curated by Shefik), encompassing a unique thematic concept that invigorates the audience with creative impact. Top recording artists, actors, business executives, politicians, community leaders, and other special guests are invited to offer their own commentary on the weekly topic, as a supplement to Shefik's engaging mindset. The radio show's online hub at serves as a conduit for discussion of the show, while featuring related videos and auxiliary content. The journey continues right here and everywhere.