RORY: Hey, we are family.
LORELAI: Yeah, well, look how great that worked out for Sister Sledge.
“We Are Family” by vocal group Sister Sledge, previously discussed, and now the third mention of this song on the show.
The group were made up of four sisters – Debbie, Joni, Kim, and Kathy Sledge, who began their musical careers in 1971. Lorelai makes it sound as if some terrible fate befell the Sledge sisters, but in fact “We Are Family” was a worldwide smash hit, and the group was named Billboard’s Best New Artists. They continued on to further career success, touring internationally, and performed at the White House for President Clinton in 2000, and for the Pope in 2015. Although Joni died in 2017, the other three sisters are still performing as Sister Sledge.
Lorelai is very possibly thinking of the period in the early 2000s when Debbie, Joni, and Kim produced solo works. Their final 2003 album remains unreleased, but by 2005 they’d got over this hitch, and performed at Glastonbury. In 2002, it might have seemed as if Sister Sledge was washed up, but they really did get through it all by sticking together as a family.