There were very emotional letters written to us, during the Papal visit to Philadelphia, from devoted fans who were fed up by the media coverage that we were fighting our sister, Kathy.
I want to clear this up and break our silence.
“We” were never fighting.
It takes two sides to fight. What was heard were the words of one person, and media spin. Not four.
There is no fight.
We were assaulted by the press and haters who were calling us bitter, mean, jealous, catty, and selfish for “not inviting Kathy to sing with us”.
The truth is, that my sisters, Debbie and Kim, are generous, forthright, kind, forgiving, enduring and the most unselfish people I know. There were profound and simple reasons why Kathy did not perform with us.
Kathy, left Sister Sledge in 1989, to pursue a different “solo” career, she was never “kicked out”. We gave her our blessing. Kathy has had an open invitation to rejoin Sister Sledge, but has chosen to move in another direction, there is no animosity. Aside from rare sporadic occasions, we have not performed with Kathy in many years. Sister Sledge, as three, Debbie, Joni, and Kim, has performed in 6 out of 7 continents. We have rerecorded many of our classics hits, and received critical acclaim for new released music. In fact, one of our self-produced CDs, African Eyes, won a Grammy nomination for best produced CD.
Deb and I submitted a letter to the World Meeting of Families committee as a part of a video presentation that included excerpts from our 2014 Sister Sledge world tour. We received an official invitation to perform at the event.
Contrary to what has been falsely reported, my sister Kim, did reach out to Kathy to perform with us.
We were sent a list of impossible demands days before the performance.
- Kathy wanted her own dressing room;
- Kathy wanted us to use her own band;
- Kathy wanted to sing lead;
- Kathy wanted to rename the performance as “Sister Sledge featuring Kathy Sledge”, and moreover…
- Kathy wanted two separate entities represented on the stage.
Wow! We were willing to consider inviting her to join us in unity for this special performance, but this was not unity!
Our sole purpose was to deliver the right message , and thanks to all of you, the World Meeting of Families was so pleased that they wrote us a beautiful letter and asked our permission to air the performance for 90 days on the Internet.
Coming into Real Unity with our sister is very important to us. Deb sent a heart felt response to Kathy’s reported letter, asking her to meet us for the commencement of true reconciliation (Deb’s letter). This response was not reported until now. And we still have not received a response.
I have reached out to my sister in many ways over the years, and I am still waiting to hear from her, as a sister (Joni ‘s letter).
We chose to remain silent out of respect for the reverence of this moment in history.
We were chosen to represent our city, Philadelphia, and to represent “the love of family” to the world, during the visit of his holiness, Pope Francis. What an honor! We did not take this situation lightly. This was not the time to air family challenges.
That is why it is reprehensible to me to know that our true reputation was accosted by false accusations for media attention.
We have deep rooted love for each other, our fans and our sister, Kathy. We have spent 30 years reflecting this love in our music, our integrity and our respect for our father’s name and our mother’s legacy.
All families have challenges.
We have had myriad laborious and tough challenges with Kathy over the years.
It is not our desire to assault her character, or expose ugly details. One of the reasons we have remained silent is to protect her reputation.
It is no “joke”, we are truly family, and we refuse to allow anyone to taint its sanctity. Regardless of “media spin” or personal conflict, we will continue to reach out to our sister in love, pray for our family’s healing, and open up to you with truth and integrity. If you have any questions, we are here to address these.
We really appreciate your loyal support and affection all of these years.
We have started this blog, Nothing Is Greater Than Love, to share stories focused on the power of Love to overcome, to answer questions, and to encourage you to open up to us. It is our “hope” to create a safe place to promote healing.
Nothing Is Greater Than Love