Bonnie Pointer, one of the founding members of the R&B group The Pointer Sisters, has died at 69. Bonnie’s sister, Anita, confirmed that she died on Monday at 69, according to TMZ.
A statement released by sister Anita read:
“It is with great sadness that I have to announce to the fans of The Pointer Sisters that my sister, Bonnie died this morning. Our family is devastated, on behalf of my siblings and I and the entire Pointer family, we ask for your prayers at this time. Bonnie was my best friend and we talked every day. We never had a fight in our life. I already miss her and I will see her again one day.”
Anita eulogized Bonnie saying that “The Pointer Sisters never would have happened had it not been for Bonnie.”
Bonnie Pointer’s publicist revealed her cause of death
Bonnie’s publicist, Roger Neal, revealed that she died of cardiac arrest, according to CNN.
The news of Bonnie’s death comes after Larry Kramer, a notable playwright and AIDS activist, died at 84.
Little Richard, a pioneer of rock and roll music, also died at 87 in May.
Bonnie Pointer was a trailblazing artist
Bonnie was a founding member of The Pointer Sisters, an R&B group consisting of four sisters from Oakland, California.
Their parents, Reverend Elton and Sarah Pointer, introduced them to gospel music and they sang at their local church in West Oakland.
The sisters formed the group after graduating from Oakland Technical High School. Bonnie graduated in 1968.
The original Pointer Sisters lineup in 1969 included Bonnie and her younger sister June, who started performing at clubs under the name Pointers, a Pair.
Bonnie was the third oldest of the four sisters. The second oldest sister, Anita, joined them shortly after they started performing at clubs in 1969, providing backup vocals for artists such as Elvin Bishop and Grace Slick.
Their oldest sister, Ruth, joined them in the early 1970s.
Although they are often described as an R&B group, their repertoire covered diverse genres including pop, disco, jazz, blues, funk, and country.
The signed up with Atlantic Records in 1971 and released several singles, including Send Him Back, which went on to become a Northern Soul classic.
They released their debut album in 1973 after signing with Blue Thumb Records.
The Pointer Sisters won their first Grammy Award in 1974 for their hit country crossover song Fairytale from their 1974 album That’s a Plenty. Other hit songs include Yes We Can Can and How Long (Betcha Got a Chick on the Side).
Bonnie left the group in 1977 to pursue a solo career. She signed with Motown and released a self-titled solo album in 1978 that included the hit single Heaven Must Have Sent You.
The other three sisters, now performing as a trio, went on to release several hits and won two more Grammy Awards. Some of their hits after Bonnie left included songs such as He’s So Shy, Slow Hand, I’m So Excited, and Jump (For My Love).