Philadelphia music legend Kathy Sledge talks about mental health

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — At CBS Philadelphia, we love family. The same goes for a Philadelphia native, who’s been singing “Family” for most of her life.

Of course, we’re talking about Kathy Sledge, from Sister Sledge. Now she is taking her love of family on a new journey and collaborating with her daughter.

In the spotlight his whole life and still performing around the world, most recently in his hometown for Philly Fights Cancer.

Kartalija: What goes through your mind when you sing “We Are Family?”

Kathy Sledge: That’s a great question. Nobody ever asked me to believe it or not. The producers believed in spontaneity. So I wasn’t allowed to hear a note until it was time to record it. To this day, every time I sing it, I feel a sense of spontaneity. I feel like I know why it worked. It wasn’t rehearsed, it was real.

Kathy Sledge’s career has always been centered around family and still is.

Now his daughter Kristen works on his production team and the two host a show called “The Family Room.”

“We have a mother-daughter variety talk show, a late-night talk show,” Kathy Sledge said. “We say fluff your pillow, get your wine and turn on IG.”

“We wanted to make social media a positive platform for people,” Kristen said.

According to them, something crucial when it comes to mental health is being honest and open on social media.

“With social media in particular and the ability to see how everyone is living and how it can affect us, it’s really important that we’re on top of our mental health,” Kristen said. “We get so many messages daily about how we help people and how we got them out of places we didn’t even know.”

“The community in this room is a place of love and support,” said Kathy Sledge.

Kathy Sledge also supports nonprofit creative treatment for those struggling with addiction, mental health, and trauma.

“I did a collaboration with Joe Nicolo who is one of the founders of Sound Mind Network, we did a full cover of a stylistic song, ‘You Are Everything.’ A great performance, he’s so talented,” said Kathy Sledge.

Kathy and Kristen say they hope their show is entertaining and genuinely helps others. They say it’s important to be socially savvy, but with a limit.

“There’s something I do sometimes, I call it posting and moving,” Kathy Sledge said. “I always tell Kristen that half the stuff isn’t real. That’s one of the reasons I think Family Room is such a huge platform for us.” Kathy continued “One thing we really approve of is that we’re real.”

Kathy does a re-recording of “Thinking Of You” with a special collaboration with a mystery artist. She says stay tuned.

Jessica Kartalija

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