Hi, I'm Joni Sledge from Sister Sledge, joined by Kim Sledge, and we are Sister Sledge.

And we have some of our family here with us today - we are doing this AMA LIVE from the first-ever Global Family Reunion day (http://globalfamilyreunion.com) here in New York!

You can keep us with us online at:

Victoria is helping us answer your questions.

It's a great day in the park!


PROOF: http://imgur.com/Jy1udxw


Unfortunately we need to wrap things up for now.

KIM: I've got a proverb, which is...

JONI: I brought up WHAMMO, because we have new music coming out, and we're actually paying tribute to some of the incredible women we've met from all walks of life, and all parts of the world. Yes. And a WHAMMO is beauty from the inside out. So that's why I asked - are you a WHAMMO? You'll be hearing it probably in the fall.

KIM: I would like to say Proverbs 3:5-7, which is "Trust in the Lord with all your heart, lean not into your own understanding. In all your ways, acknowledge him, and he will direct your paths."

And for me, for me, Jesus is the way. The Truth, and the life. smiles

Comments: 55 • Responses: 14  • Date: 

Notningamaster21 karma

We Are Family is everywhere commercials, movies television shows. Does the bad still control the rights to this song? Do you get request to use it all the time? I've heard other bands say certain songs become a curse because they have to perform them over and over and they get sick of them. Has this happened with We Are Family for the band?

RealSisterSledge26 karma

KIM: Oh, NEVER, never.

JONI: You know, that's the weirdest question, we get it all the time. But every audience was different. Every experience is different. It's not like singing "My name is Jim, and I climb a tree."

KIM: It works for soccer teams, and family reunions, and ballet groups, and we just saw Ted Allen, from CHOPPED, and he was enjoying it, you know?! and it was so nice to sing with him onstage, "We are Family!"

So everybody - that's about food, you know! There's family even in cooking!

JONI: We were celebrating the 1 billionth download of that song. It's really weird, but I remember you were saying, we were flying over Los Angeles, and we were looking at all the lights down there, and somebody turned to me and said "99.99% of those lights know WE ARE FAMILY."

And it hit me. And I was like "Wow, that is really profound."

KIM: When Nelson Mandela was in prison, he actually wrote this - that while he was there, he used to hear "We are Family" - the prison guards would play it - and he said that when he heard that song, it gave him hope. And they became eventually - he could connect with the prison guard, because HE loved the song, and hearing that song inspired him so much, and that was a connecting between the two of them.

"We are Family."

We were just amazed to hear that.

He said "*I knew there was hope - because the song tied us together."

JONI: I have a question - just going to put that out there - are you a Whammo?

Notningamaster6 karma

Wow that an amazing story about Mandela and very awesome! I am not sure what a Whammo is, lol sorry.

RealSisterSledge6 karma

JONI: Okay, a Whammo is an acronym that means Women Are The Music Of The World. And it's beautiful from the inside out.

TheJackal818 karma

How did you meet?

RealSisterSledge36 karma

BOTH: Laugh!

JONI: That's hysterical!

KIM: I think that was a mom and dad thing. And a god thing.

JONI: We're sisters.

KIM: We met as infants.

beernerd6 karma

Do you miss life on the road?

RealSisterSledge15 karma

JONI: We're on the road so much, I miss sleeping in my own bed, hahaha!

KIM: You were up all night long!

JONI: You know what's funny - I was in Europe yesterday, and we had a midnight rehearsal, and a 9 AM lobby call, and 10 o'clock soundcheck, and I've not been to bed...so I'm actually running on fumes. And I probably will completely conk out after this interview!

KIM: You have one more show, young lady!

beernerd6 karma

Wow, those are some powerful fumes. Where do you get the energy?

RealSisterSledge27 karma

KIM: I'll tell you what it is. For me, these are the direct words - it's the light of the Lord Jesus Christ in my life. There's light in his life. There's a verse that says "in your light, we see light." And I believe that light is the same energy - when God said "Let there BE light" and the world came into being. That's life, there's constant life going on. That same energy when we perform, it's light and it's life. And I believe that the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob created that light.

JONI: I take Cordyceps.

Flat_Mars_Society6 karma

Do you think being in the group together made you closer or caused more stress over the years than other families?

RealSisterSledge7 karma

KIM: That's a good question. I think in all families, your absolute natural family, there's moments that are stressful, but love keeps a family together. It's natural, when you have people under one roof, to have differences. But that underlying love is what you go back to, and strive for. And that's what we've done.

JONI: it does sound like the Brady Bunch or something, but in all actuality, I think there has to be a level of respect. And we were taught that, mostly from our grandmother and our mom, but our grandma really had a way of calming people down, of showing them that there's always a different way of looking at things, and there's always a different persective.

KIM: There's a Bible verse that says "Love covers a multitude of faults." So you just forgive, and you love!

ptanaka5 karma

What bands did you tour with back in the day that left you with some funny stories? And can you share a story or two? Thanks for this AMA!!!! Love you girls...

RealSisterSledge15 karma

JONI: Well, George Clinton still wears a diaper! Ha ha ha!

KIM: He DOES! He wore one onstage as part of his act!

JONI: A grown man!

KIM: My grandmother traveled with us, so these big funk bands, they used to LOVE her. And I mean, Clinton would have his diaper on, they'd have their platforms on...

JONI: Tell her about Rick James!

KIM: Alright, this is a true story. Rick James LOVED our grandma.

JONI: And our grandma loved him. However, it didn't stop her from telling him he needed to use deodorant! And she did it so subtly, she had a little jar of feminine Tussy - that was the name of the deodorant, from her day - and she handed it to him discretely, and he was great, it's not that he had an issue, he just worked so hard sweat was pouring off of him...

KIM: And he melted into a little boy, and he said "Aw, mom!" Oh boy, there were SO many stories... Okay... let's think of another one...

RealSisterSledge21 karma

JONI: I remember the Jacksons, we performed with them live. We did a great tour - it was the Brothers versus the Sisters. I remember we used to like sports, like swimming and playing basketball, and I remember that Michael couldn't play ball. He wasn't allowed to play basketball. It was kinda odd. Very sad, they put a lot of restrictions on him.

But we had the most amazing time with them. Shopping in malls...

KIM: I remember we used to travel at night, after the concerts, and we'd pull up to the truck stops - ALL of us - people had no idea that the Jacksons were at their truckstops, because they would wear the hoodies, and we'd all climb out of our busses, really funky in the middle of the night, climb up to barstools in these little truckstops, and NOBODY knew. They'd cover up and just have a blast, and then jump back in our busses going to the next town.

JODI: I remember performing at Radio City Music Hall with Marvin Gaye once. This was the day that Bob Marley passed away, and we were all in shock. And we ended up creating this version of one of our songs as a tribute to him. And the entire audience, all of us, just really bowed down, and paid homage, because it affected us so strongly, because he was such a hero for us.

And we have a version of that song, called "He's Just A Runaway," that's dedicated to Bob Marley. Yeah.

ptanaka6 karma

Goose bumps.... You ladies have just made my day. Big hug to you both!!!!

RealSisterSledge7 karma

KIM: Aw, that's really sweet! Thank you! You made our day too! Hugs back!

JONI: Oh, that's so cool! I love the fact that we can talk to people through the internet!

ptanaka3 karma

O. M. G. More.........

RealSisterSledge17 karma

KIM: Teaching James Brown French.

JONI: Oh, that was really, really funny. The first time we went to Zaire, it was a Francophone country. And I had studied French in school, and they asked me to teach James Brown how to say a few words in French.

And as you all know - James Brown speaks his own language!

And so... it was a challenge. And if James Brown is so into soul, that... when he runs out of screaming, he starts reciting food - Soul Food - like he might shout "Neck bones! Candied Yams!"

And so I had to teach him how to say "Je suis James Brown."

So I started saying - "say Just Sweet Potatoes"!

And then I said "Drop the potato!"

And he said "JUST SWEET!"

And there you go! This is a TRUE STORY.

KIM: And at that time, that was for the Ali / Foreman fight. We were babies then.

JONI: I also told him to say "Neck Bone!"

And then I said "Drop the neck!"

And then he said "BONE!"

For "Bon."

So I said "Very good! Very good!"

13ofspades3 karma

How is it different performing now compared to when you started?

RealSisterSledge7 karma

KIM: From one perspective, as the performer, what's different is when you've performed this long, after a while, it becomes so much a part of you... that it becomes like a family member. And you're comfortable. And it's pleasant. It's like a good chair, that you just cuddle up in, or the slippers you don't want to throw away because they FIT so well! So when you go out and you see an audience and they are for you and the energy is there - it's a nice feeling. You both give. You keep giving back and forth. You to them, them to you.

JONI: I think the difference for me is that I recognize one that it's such a gift. And I don't stress so much over perfection. It's more what a privilege it is, that people really are still enjoying our music, and are actually sharing this with us, even now. So I feel like every time I'm up there, it's a blessing and a privilege and I really have fun. I just enjoy it.

KIM: I enjoy it too, I really do.

Blue_Fox93 karma

Which show/performance stands out in each of your minds to this day, and why? Also, least enjoyable moment on tour?

RealSisterSledge10 karma

JONI: That is a GOOD question. There have been so many. I will say there was a performance at the Lakana Sun Plaza in Tokyo. Yes. And what was really unique about it was that people were very polite - we're used to people screaming, and laughing, and dancing, but these people sat there, throughout the entire show, and at the end of the show, the entire audience rushed forward with gifts.

And that's the first time that ever happened.

And I'll never forget it. And they had tears in their eyes. And they kept saying "Thank you!" and giving us these beautiful homemade gifts.

So that was one of the most memorable for me.

KIM: I have a different one.

We were in Romania.

This was not long after Independence was gotten in that nation. And surrounding areas.

And we were staying in a HUGE hotel that had been - it was being refurbished by the new regime. And the people were so delighted to serve us - but there was so little, they were lacking in so many things - but they were so rich in giving, and so delighted to share with us. I remember for breakfast, they asked us - in America we take so many things for granted - and orange juice for breakfast is just a natural thing for breakfast, you know? But I remember they were SO delighted to give us orange juice, and it was Fanta, orange soda.

It made me want to cry.

I loved it.

It was so delicious, and they were so happy to serve it to us.

In the square where we performed, at the end of the show, when we sang "Brother, Brother, Stop" they began to lift up their babies, in the air.

A song against violence was on that show.

That was the song. Before "We Are Family," it was that song that Joni wrote, against violence, called "Brother, Brother, Stop." Saying "Stop fighting each other."

And they were lifting up their children, and babies, in the air. Hundreds of them.

I will never forget my experience there, because even the supermarkets - they had so few things, but they were so anxious to give and so grateful to be able to offer us anything and everything.

I remember - oh my gosh -

JONI: This Global Family Reunion for me will be on the list for me as a highlighted performance. Because people in the audience were holding a sign that said "I AM A COUSIN." And I've never seen that before. And I thought that was REALLY Cool. And I'm looking out there, and I'm seeing these signs, and this whole idea of DNA and science and that we can all be related - it's fascinating.

KIM: I think the greatest thing, too, is you have more patience for one another, when it's a family member. You get grace, and honor for people.

RealSisterSledge5 karma

JONI: Our least enjoyable? I was in Europe yesterday. And not that this is the least - but sometimes you just have to keep going. No matter how tired you are. Because you signed up for this, haha! It's not as glamorous as people think. But it's still enjoyable. It has its ups and downs. Tiredness is the only thing I can say is a real negative. Everything else is pretty much experience - good, bad, indifferent, but it's experience, it's value.

KIM: I think generally speaking, the times when we've performed when we've been in places where we've seen fans rudely - I don't like seeing artists treat fans rudely. And it hurts my stomach.

JONI: Totally uncool.

KIM: It literal makes my stomach hurt because it's just not necessary. What's the point. Rudeness is just bad.

legendofbaggervance3 karma

Just want to say I'm a big fan. Thank you. My question is who were your favourite singers growing up?

RealSisterSledge8 karma

JONI: Oh, we have so many! Oh my gosh! I love Aretha Franklin, Chaka Khan...

KIM: Definitely James Brown...

JONI: Stevie Wonder... Does it have to be growing up or now?

KIM: I loved Carly Simon growing up.

JONI: We have very, very eclectic taste in music, because we grew up listening to opera, classical. I like Carey Takanawa. I love a lot of jazz artists. Miles Davis.

KIM: Ella and Sarah Vaughn! Yes indeed! Let me see!

JONI: I like a lot of John Lennon and Paul McCartney songs.

KIM: I like Ojay's "Whispers."

JONI: And I like Vivaldi. And I love Shah Rukh Khan.