Bonnie Pointer, co-founder of Pointer Sisters, died at 69

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LOS ANGELES (AP) – Bonnie Pointer, who in 1969 convinced three of her sibling church singers to form the Pointer Sisters, who would become one of the greatest acts of the next two decades, died Monday.

The Grammy winner died of cardiac arrest in Los Angeles, journalist Roger Neal said. She was 69 years old.

“It is with great sadness that I must announce to fans of the Pointer Sisters that my sister, Bonnie passed away this morning,” said sister Anita Pointer in a statement. “Our family is devastated, on behalf of my brothers and sisters and myself and the whole Pointer family, we ask you for your prayers right now. “

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Bonnie Pointer in 1979. The founding member of the Pointer Sisters died on Monday of heart failure in Los Angeles. She was 69 years old.

Bonnie Pointer often sang the lead role and was an essential member of the group through her early successes, including “Yes We Can Can” and “Fairytale”. She left for a short and modest solo career in 1977 when her sisters had several mega-hits without her.

Ruth, Anita, Bonnie and June, born to the daughters of a pastor who also had two older sons, grew up singing in his church in Oakland, California.

It was Bonnie, shortly after graduating from high school, who first wanted to move away from singing gospel songs in clubs to pursue a career as a professional singer.

“The Pointer Sisters would never have happened without Bonnie,” said Anita Pointer in her statement.

She convinced her younger sister June to join her, and the two began performing duet concerts together in 1969. Eventually, they asked their two older sisters, who were already married with children, to join them.

The quartet brought a unique fusion of 1940s-style funk, soul and jazz, scat and pop to their act, often dressing in a retro style that resembled their predecessors, the Andrews Sisters.

They worked as reserve singers for Taj Mahal, Boz Scaggs, Elvin Bishop and others before releasing their self-titled debut album in 1973, and the song “Yes We Can Can”, a funky anthem calling for unity and tolerance, has become their success.

They followed up with “That’s A Plenty,” which featured an eclectic mix of musical styles ranging from jazz to gospel to pop.

They even searched the country. Bonnie and Anita co-wrote the song “Fairytale” about a ruined relationship. The song earned them a groundbreaking concert as a rare African American actor at the Grand Ole Opry, and they would win their first Grammy, for the best country vocal performance of any group.

Bonnie Pointer left the group in 1977, signing a solo agreement with Motown Records.

“We were devastated,” Anita Pointer told the Associated Press in 1990. “We did a show the night he left, but after that we just stopped. We didn’t think it would work without Bonnie. ”

She would only have modest solo success. Her biggest hit was “Heaven Must Have Sent You,” a 1979 disco cover of a previous Elgins hit by Motown. It reached No. 11 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1979.

After making three albums for Motown, she would step down from the studio and only perform occasionally.

Her three sisters, who almost dissolved when she quit, regrouped instead, abandoned their retro image for modern pop sound, and became one of the biggest numbers of the 1980s with huge success. , including “It’s So Shy”, “Jump (For My Love)” and “Neutron Dance”.

Bonnie married Motown producer Jeffrey Bowen in 1978. The two separated in 2004 and divorced in 2016.

She has reunited with her sisters twice for public appearances. Once in 1994, when they received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and again in 1996 at a show in Las Vegas.

“She always told me, mom, that I wanted something for myself,” Bonnie’s mother Sarah Pointer told Ebony in 1974. “I want to be someone in this world. “

June Pointer, the youngest of the sisters, died in 2006.

Besides Ruth and Anita, Bonnie Pointer is survived by her two older brothers, Aaron and Fritz.



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