Sister Sledge enjoyed worldwide success at the height of the wild ’70s, storming the charts with a stream of hit songs and touring some of the biggest stages across the globe.
But while the heavy partying and hard work had a heavy impact on some of the biggest musicians of the decade, it wasn’t the case for the ‘We Are Family’ group – and Kim Sledge ended up choosing a very different path to transform her life in the years since.
While she continues to perform on stage with her sister Debbie, the 61-year-old singer has gone on to embrace her religion and become an ordained minister, in an effort to spread the word of God.
“My decision to become a minister was because of my love for the Lord. As a believer in Jesus Christ, which is my faith, I think it’s more a lifestyle,” she told Starts at 60 of her decision.
“It’s not about religion because I think religion is sometimes used wrongly. It can be a bad thing. But I think a relationship with the Lord is what matters, because a relationship is about character.”
Kim and her sisters Joni, Kathy and Debbie enjoyed huge success with songs like ‘We Are Family’, ‘Lost in Music’ and ‘He’s The Greatest Dancer’, many of which are still widely celebrated today. Sadly, Joni passed away in March last year from natural causes, leaving her siblings devastated.
Kim’s faith has helped her through the difficult times since, as she explained: “It helps me to keep myself together because I’ve got my ways! When I need some fixing I’ve got the word of God in front of me.”
Asked if she feels Joni’s spirit on stage with her now, she said: “Absolutely. I really, really do. I believe that Joni is with us, I can feel her energy, her presence. There’s so many things that happen on stage that remind us of her.
“Different arrangements that she’s done – because she was quite a composer – so there’s songs that she wrote. She was also a great arranger of music, so we feel her, absolutely.”
Becoming a minister and dedicating herself to God was an easy decision for Kim as it hasn’t stopped her from continuing her dream of singing in the slightest. While her sister Kathy has since departed from the group, she continues to tour world stages with Debbie.
And no matter where she is, prayer remains the key way she practices that religion.
“The first thing anyone can do is pray. I pray before I go places and I do normal things that everyone else does. I’m mindful that I’m representing Him,” she said. “When we’re performing and looking out at an audience, you’re not just singing to a group of people, you’re sharing his presence.”
Kim and Debbie will now travel to Australia in January 2019 to join The Jacksons, Kool & the Gang, The Pointer Sisters, Village People and more for the Summer Series Disco and Motown tour.
To buy tickets to the Motown tour, visit the official MJR website here.