Bonnie Pointer, one of the founding members of the Pointer Sisters, has passed away. “It is with great sadness that I have to announce to the fans of the Pointer Sisters that my sister Bonnie died this morning,” her sister Anita told TMZ. “Our family is devastated, on behalf of my siblings and I and the entire Pointer family, we ask for your prayers at this time.” She was 69. No cause of death was given.
Born in Oakland, California in 1950, Bonnie and her sister June started singing together when they were teenagers. In the late ’60s, she and June formed a duo called the Pointers, and otherwise sometimes known as the Pair. It wasn’t until their other sister Anita joined that they became known as the Pointer Sisters. Their sister Ruth joined later as well, and the group released their self-titled debut in 1973, bearing one of their signature early songs in “Yes We Can Can.”
Through the middle of the ’70s, the Pointer Sisters made their name on a sound that blended country, funk, soul, and rock. In 1974, they had a crossover country hit called “Fairytale,” penned by Bonnie. It won them a Grammy for Best Vocal By A Duo Or Group, Country. Bonnie left the group in the late ’70s to start a solo career, exiting the Pointer Sisters before their commercial peak in the ’80s.
Once on her own, Bonnie signed to Motown, where she met the producer Jeffrey Bowen. The two would later get married. Bonnie released three solo albums through the late ’70s into the mid-’80s, and found some success of her own; her disco cover of the 1966 Elgins song “Heaven Must Have Sent You” was a hit in 1979. After years away from recording music, Bonnie returned with her final studio album, Like A Picasso, in 2011.
Revisit some of Bonnie Pointer’s work below.