Sister Sledge pays tribute to a legendTuesday, May 11, 2021
Sister Sledge were scheduled to perform at Radio City Music Hall in New York City when they got news that Bob Marley had died in Miami at age 36.
The siblings — Debbie, Joni, Kim, and Kathy — wanted to pay their respect to the reggae king.
They decided to do a reggae version of He's Just A Runaway, a song from All American Girls, their album which had been released in February that year.
“It was interesting how it all evolved. On the day of his passing we were performing live at Radio City Music Hall with Marvin Gaye. We performed a tribute version of Runaway with a reggae tempo and feel. It was so well-received, our record label requested the version be recorded. We were honoured to pay homage to such a legend,” said Kathy, now 62.
The sisters never met Marley, but ironically Gaye performed alongside him and The Wailers in Kingston in May 1974 on a benefit concert at the National Arena.
Kathy Sledge lists Buffalo Soldier, Could You be Loved and Jammin' as her favourite Marley songs.
Produced by Narada Michael Walden, All American Girls heard Sister Sledge at the height of their popularity. Prior to its release, songs like We Are Family, He's The Greatest Dancer and Thinking of You had made them a force in the world of disco.
The group had a big hit in the United Kingdom with the reggae-flavoured Frankie in 1985.
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