Justin Sullivan/Getty ImagesAs the world mourns the passing of Aretha Franklin, her labelmates Sister Sledge have fond memories of the Queen of Soul.
“There is no one like Aretha, and no voice like hers,” Kim Sledge tells ABC Radio. “She always lives on…because of all the wonderful music she’s given the world.”
Kathy Sledge, who sang lead on the group’s hits, including “We Are Family,” remembers Aretha’s compassion.
“I will personally never, ever forget how she was the first person to passionately reach out to my family at our sister Joni’s untimely death,” she says in a statement. “How she was a constant comfort for us in our time of need.”
“We love you Aretha,” Kathy continues. “You will forever be the reigning Queen of our Heart and Soul. Take your crown!”
One of the highlights of Sister Sledge’s career was performing along with Aretha for Pope Francis in 2015 at the World Festival of Families Congress in Philadelphia.
Kim remembers she and her sisters were in awe of the iconic singer. “That’s a true legend. She’s an icon. She is the Queen of Soul,” Kim says. “Just to see her perform, to be around the presence of someone like that.”
As Kim reminisces about Franklin, she compares her to another icon who they got to share a stage with: The Godfather of Soul.
“I put her in the same category with James Brown,” she says. “We’ve got these greats, we have grown so much and learned so much from.”
“Standing in the corner, watching them, seeing how they dealt with the audiences, their rapport, their professionalism,” Kim adds.
For Kim Sledge, Aretha was the ultimate vocalist. “I was, like, number one fan.”
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