Anita Pointer, one of four sibling singers who earned pop success and critical acclaim as The Pointer Sisters, died Saturday (Dec. 31) at the age of 74, her publicist announced.
The Grammy winner passed away while she was with family members, publicist Roger Neal said in a statement. A cause of death was not immediately revealed.
“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 & Bonnie and at peace. She was the one that kept all of us close and together for so long,” her sister Ruth, brothers Aaron and Fritz and granddaughter Roxie McKain Pointer said in the statement.
Anita Pointer’s only daughter, Jada Pointer, died in 2003.
Anita, Ruth, Bonnie and June Pointer, born the daughters of a minister, grew up singing in their father’s church in Oakland, California.
The group’s 1973 self-titled debut album included the breakout hit, “Yes We Can Can.” Known for hit songs including “I’m So Excited,” “Slow Hand,” “Neutron Dance” and “Jump (For My Love),” the singers gained a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1994.
The 1983 album, Break Out, went triple platinum and garnered two American Music Awards. The group won three Grammy Awards and had 13 U.S. top 20 hit songs between 1973 and 1985, Neal said.
The Pointer Sisters also was the first African American group to perform on the Grand Ole Opry program and the first contemporary act to perform at the San Francisco Opera House, Neal said.
Bonnie Pointer left the group in 1977, signing a solo deal with Motown Records but enjoying only modest success. “We were devastated,” Anita Pointer said of the departure in 1990. “We did a show the night she left, but after that, we just stopped. We thought it wasn’t going to work without Bonnie.”
The group, in various lineups including younger family members, continued recording through 1993.
June Pointer died of cancer at the age of 52 in 2006.
Anita Pointer announced Bonnie Pointer’s death resulting from cardiac arrest at the age of 69 in 2020. “The Pointer Sisters would never have happened had it not been for Bonnie,” she said in a statement.