The Pointer Sisters’ Anita Pointer died yesterday (December 31) at the age of 74, her family has confirmed in a statement.

Pointer died of cancer at her home in Beverly Hills surrounded by her relatives, her publicist Roger Neal said.

“While we are deeply saddened by the loss of Anita, we are comforted in knowing she is now with her daughter Jada and her sisters June and Bonnie are at peace,” the star’s family said. “She was the one that kept all of us close and together for so long. Her love of our family will live on in each of us. Please respect our privacy during this period of grief and loss. Heaven is a more loving beautiful place with Anita there.”

Pointer was the second oldest of her family’s four daughters and joined her younger sisters, June and Bonnie, in a group after they began performing in clubs in 1969. Two years later, the trio signed with Atlantic Records but failed to find much success with their early singles.

The Pointer Sisters in the 1980s CREDIT: Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

After eldest sister Ruth rounded out the group in 1972, they signed with Blue Thumb Records, where they set about creating their own sound that took inspiration from jazz and bebop. They released their debut album ‘The Pointer Sisters’ in 1973, containing their first hit single, ‘Yes We Can Can’.

Bonnie left The Pointer Sisters in 1979, with the rest of the group almost quitting too. However, they continued and shook up their sound, switching to a more modern pop style with which they scored further success. ‘He’s So Shy’, ‘Jump (For My Love)’, ‘I’m So Excited’, ‘Automatic’, ‘Neutron Dance’ and more all landed in the Top 10 of the Billboard Hot 100 in the ‘80s and continue to be recognised as pop classics.

Their career would see them be nominated for Grammys in categories for country, R&B and pop music, with the group winning three of the prestigious awards. They first picked up the trophy for Best Country Vocal Performance by a Duo or Group in 1974 for ‘Fairytale’, followed by two awards in 1985 – Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal for ‘Jump (For My Love)’ and Best Vocal Arrangement for Two or More Voices for ‘Automatic’.

Outside of the family group, Pointer also appeared on the hit single ‘Too Many Times’ by country star Earl Thomas Conley in 1986. The following year, she released her first solo album, ‘Love For What It Is’, which spawned the hit single ‘Overnight Success’.

The Pointer Sisters were given a star on the Hollywood Walk Of Fame in 1994, while Pointer alone was inducted into the Arkansas Black Hall Of Fame in 1998.

In her personal life, Pointer was a mother to one daughter, Jada, who inspired the song of the same name on The Pointer Sisters’ debut album. Jada died of cancer in 2003, with Pointer raising her granddaughter Roxie McKain Pointer.

Pointer retired from performing in 2015 due to her health, with her sister Ruth continuing the group with her daughter Issa and granddaughter Sadako. Ruth is the only surviving original member of The Pointer Sisters, following June’s death in 2006 and Bonnie’s death in 2020.

The post The Pointer Sisters’ Anita Pointer has died appeared first on NME.

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