Sister Sledge star Kim Sledge has re-recorded his band’s disco hit, We Are Family, to raise money for the World Health Organization and encourage international unity amid Covid-19.
The singer, 63, joined social enterprise group The World We Want to record a new version of the 1979 track, with the proceeds going to the WHO foundation, including its global response to the coronavirus.
Celebrities, frontline workers, international executives and members of the public will feature in a viral music video for the track, which will be released on November 9.
Sledge and his sisters Debbie, Joni and Kathy formed Sister Sledge in 1971 and went on to release songs such as Lost In Music and He’s The Greatest Dancer.
We Are Family was written by Nile Rodgers and Bernard Edwards of Chic and recorded at the famous Power Station studio in New York, before being released in April 1979.
Speaking at a WHO online briefing on Monday, Sledge addressed the song’s lyrics and their relevance today.
The singer, from Philadelphia, who is also an ordained minister, said via video call: âWhat this means is very personal to me because I have two family members, my husband and my daughter, who are doctors, who are on the front line.
âSo already, the words of the family speak of family. But the world is a family and these words call us together as a family to embrace each other during this time.
âI think the song itself is a song about solidarity. It’s about what families do in times of crisis.
âAnd it’s coming together, looking out for each other, finding ways to solve solutions. It makes the whole family strong.
âAnd this global family will be much stronger as a global family, as we embrace these words, as we attack and bring what has to happen, whatever conflicts and causes a problem with our global family.
“This is why we are a family.”
Sledge will launch the new version of We Are Family on November 9 at the opening of the World Health Assembly, with a performance alongside choir singers from New York to Tonga.
The song will also launch a viral campaign with the hashtag #WeAreFamily, raising awareness of global public health needs, including emergency preparedness and outbreak response.
In an earlier statement, she said: âFrom frontline doctors and nurses to paramedics and police, from midwives and scientists to caregivers of vulnerable people, the We Are Family initiative will greet everyone with a sense of unity. , strength and solidarity in response to the unprecedented challenges facing the world as a result of the coronavirus epidemic.
âThere are a lot of people who have motivated me to embark on this new initiative to help bring We Are Family to life, and who are very dedicated to finding ways to overcome this crisis.
âThey include my close family friend Lou Weisbach, my brothers and sisters in the Mercy Seat ministry, and all the health workers, scientists, essential workers, caregivers and emergency personnel around the world who worked day and night during the pandemic to support others. “
Natasha Mudhar, Founder of The World We Want and the driving force behind the #WeAreFamily campaign, said, âWe Are Family is one of the most instantly recognizable anthems in the world. The song carries such an inspiring message of unity and solidarity.
âWe are confident that the We Are Family song and video initiative is launched at the right time. It is a rallying cry for unity, for the strength of our global family.
“We are all together during these times.”
Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director General of the World Health Organization, said: âWe Are Family is more than a song.
“It’s a call to action for collaboration and kindness and a reminder of the strength of family and the importance of coming together to help others in times of need.”
Audience members are encouraged to register themselves and their families singing We Are Family and share their videos online using the hashtag.
Joni Sledge died of natural causes at her home in Phoenix, Arizona on March 10, 2017, at the age of 60.
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