Bonnie Pointer, one of the founding members of the Grammy Award-winning vocal group The Pointer Sisters, has died at the age of 69.
Anita Pointer confirmed her sister’s passing in a statement to TMZ. “It is with great sadness that I have to announce to the fans of The Pointer Sisters that my sister, Bonnie died this morning,” she said. “Our family is devastated, on behalf of my siblings and I and the entire Pointer family, we ask for your prayers at this time.”
Born in Oakland, California, Bonnie and her sister June started performing as a duo in 1969 before the group expanded into a quartet including their other sisters, Anita and Ruth. After signing to Blue Thumb Records in 1972, the group found success with the release of their debut self-titled album, released the following year, which featured their first hit single ‘Yes We Can’. A year later, the group won a Grammy for Best Country Performance by a Duo or Group for their second hit, ‘Fairytale’, off their album That’s a Plenty, which was later covered by Elvis Presley. This led them to become the first African American group to perform at the Grand Ole Opry.
The band’s success continued with 1975’s Steppin’, but in 1977, Bonnie left the group to pursue a solo career before the band’s commercial peak. She made her self-titled debut for Motown Records in 1997 and went on to release four albums, with her most popular single ‘Heaven Must Have Sent You’ reaching No. 11 on the Billboard Hot 100.
In 1994, The Pointer Sisters reunited in celebration of their Hollywood Walk of Fame star. In 2010, she played herself in Monte Hellman’s 2010 romantic thriller Road to Nowhere, and released her final album, Like A Picasso, in 2011.