Bonnie Pointer, founding member of The Pointer Sisters, dead at 69

Bonnie Pointer, who sang with her two siblings as part of the once-popular R&B trio The Pointer Sisters in the 1970s and 1980s, died Monday of cardiac arrest at the age of 69, according to family.
Bonnie Pointer, who sang with her two siblings as part of the once-popular R&B trio The Pointer Sisters in the 1970s and 1980s, died Monday of cardiac arrest at the age of 69, according to family.

Credit: AP file photo

Credit: AP file photo

Bonnie Pointer, one of the original members of the popular R&B group The Pointer Sisters, who recorded several memorable hits in the 1970s and 1980s, died Monday of cardiac arrest at the age of 69, according to family.

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“It is with great sadness that I have to announce to the fans of The Pointer Sisters that my sister, Bonnie, died this morning,” sister and former bandmate Anita Pointer said in a statement to USA Today, adding that “our family is devastated.”

The songstress from Oakland, California, left the group about 1977, before the band ever achieved its biggest successes, and then embarked on a modestly successful solo career with Motown Records.

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The remaining sisters went on to score the group’s biggest hits in the 1980s with songs including “I’m So Excited,” “Slow Hand” and “He’s So Shy.”

Bonnie first performed in nightclubs with her sister, June, in 1969, forming the duo “Pointers, a Pair.”

The group grew to a trio when their sister Anita came on board, followed by their fourth sibling, Ruth, in 1972. Around that time the sisters signed their first record deal, releasing a self-titled debut in 1973, but they received little success until the release of their second full-length album “That’s a Plenty” in 1974.

A single on the album titled “Fairytale” won a Grammy in 1975 for Best Country Vocal Performance. They were the first all-female group to win the award. Their sound spanned several genres, including pop, disco, soul, funk, dance, country and rock, which led to 13 Top 20 hits in the United States between 1973 and 1985, and two additional Grammy Awards. The Pointer Sisters also received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1994.

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Earlier this year, Bonnie and Anita released the single “Feels Like June,” which was a tribute to their late sister June Pointer, who died in 2006.

She is survived by her brothers, Aaron and Fritz, and sisters Ruth and Anita.

— This is a developing story. Stay with AJC.com for the latest updates.

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