Bonnie Pointer, who in 1969 satisfied three of her church-singing siblings to kind the Pointer Sisters, which might develop into one of many largest acts of the subsequent twenty years, died Monday.
The Grammy winner died of cardiac arrest in Los Angeles, publicist Roger Neal mentioned. She was 69.
“It’s with nice disappointment that I’ve to announce to the followers of the Pointer Sisters that my sister, Bonnie died this morning,” sister Anita Pointer mentioned in a press release. “Our household is devastated, on behalf of my siblings and I and the complete Pointer household, we ask on your prayers presently.”
Bonnie Pointer typically sang lead and was a necessary member of the group by means of its early hits together with “Sure We Can Can” and “Fairytale.” She would depart for a brief and modest solo profession in 1977 as her sisters went on to have a number of mega-hits with out her.
Ruth, Anita, Bonnie and June, born the daughters of a minister who additionally had two older sons, grew up singing in his church in Oakland, Calif.
It was Bonnie, shortly after graduating highschool, who first needed to maneuver away from singing gospel songs into golf equipment to pursue knowledgeable singing profession.
“The Pointer Sisters would by no means have occurred had it not been for Bonnie,” Anita Pointer mentioned in her assertion.
She satisfied youthful sister June to affix her, and the 2 started doing gigs collectively as a duo in 1969. Finally they’d enlist their two older sisters, who had been already married with youngsters, to affix them.
The quartet introduced distinctive fusion of funk, soul and 1940s-style jazz, scat and pop to their act, typically dressing in a retro type that resembled their forerunners the Andrews Sisters.
They labored as backup singers for Taj Mahal, Boz Scaggs, Elvin Bishop and others earlier than releasing their self-titled debut album in 1973, and the tune “Sure We Can Can,” a cool anthem calling for unity and tolerance, turned their breakout hit.
They adopted up with “That’s A Loads,” which featured an eclectic mixture of musical types starting from jazz to gospel to pop.
They even delved into nation. Bonnie and Anita co-wrote the tune “Fairytale” a couple of crumbling relationship. The tune earned them a groundbreaking gig performing as a uncommon African American act on the Grand Ole Opry, and they’d win their first Grammy, for finest nation vocal efficiency by a gaggle.
Bonnie Pointer left the group in 1977, signing a solo take care of Motown Information.
“We had been devastated,” Anita Pointer advised The Related Press in 1990. “We did a present the night time she left, however after that, we simply stopped. We thought it wasn’t going to work with out Bonnie.”
She would have solely modest solo success. Her largest hit was “Heaven Should Have Despatched You,” a 1979 disco cowl of an earlier Motown hit by the Elgins. It reached No. 11 on the Billboard Sizzling 100 in 1979.
After making three albums for Motown, she would retire from the studio, and solely carry out sometimes.
Her three sisters, who had practically disbanded when she stop, as a substitute regrouped, shed their retro picture for a contemporary pop sound, and have become one of many largest acts of the 1980s with large hits together with “He’s So Shy,” “Leap (For My Love)” and “Neutron Dance.”
Bonnie married Motown producer Jeffrey Bowen in 1978. The 2 separated in 2004 and divorced in 2016.
She twice reunited along with her sisters for public appearances. As soon as in 1994, once they obtained a star on the Hollywood Stroll of Fame, and once more in 1996 at a present in Las Vegas.
“She had all the time advised me, mom, I need one thing for myself,” Bonnie’s mom Sarah Pointer advised Ebony in 1974. “I wish to be any person on this world.”
June Pointer, the youngest of the sisters, died in 2006.
Along with Ruth and Anita, Bonnie Pointer is survived by her two older brothers, Aaron and Fritz.