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Anita Pointer from Grammy-winning Pointer Sisters dies aged 74

Anita Pointer from Grammywinning Pointer Sisters dies aged 74
Family hail singer as ‘the one that kept all of us close and together for so long’
Anita Pointer from Grammy-winning Pointer Sisters dies aged 74

Family hail singer as ‘the one that kept all of us close and together for so long’

Anita Pointer

Anita Pointer, one of the Grammy award-winning Pointer Sisters whose string of hits included Automatic and I’m So Excited, has died aged 74. She was surrounded by family at her Beverly Hills home in California when she died on New Year’s Eve, her publicist, Roger Neal, said.

In a statement, her family said they were deeply saddened by the loss. “She was the one that kept all of us close and together for so long,” they said. “Her love of our family will live on in each of us. Heaven is a more loving, beautiful place with Anita there.”

The Pointer Sisters group was initially two sisters, June and Bonnie, who performed as a duo in the late 1960s. Anita, the second oldest, and Ruth, the youngest, subsequently joined and they released their debut album, The Pointer Sisters, with their first hit single, Yes We Can Can, in 1973.

In 1975 their song Fairytale, written by Anita and Bonnie with Anita on lead vocals, won a Grammy for best country vocal performance. It led to the Pointer Sisters becoming the first black female group to perform at the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville.

Bonnie left in 1978 and the group almost disbanded. But they kept on and it was Anita, June and Ruth who then reached stratospheric commercial success in the 1980s with top 10 hits that also included Jump (For My Love), Slow Hand, He’s So Shy and Fire, written by Bruce Springsteen.

Their song Neutron Dance became even better known when it was used in the film Beverly Hills Cop to the opening and spectacularly crash-filled chase sequence.

In 1987 Anita released her first solo album, Love for What It Is, and the single Overnight Success.

Pointer retired from performing in 2015. Ruth is now the only surviving Pointer Sister, as June died in 2006 and Bonnie in 2020. Anita’s daughter, Jada, died in 2003, leading Anita to take over raising her granddaughter, Roxie McKain Pointer.

In their statement, the family said: “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 and Bonnie and at peace.”

Many paid tribute on social media. Katrina Leskanich, of Katrina and the Waves, recalled being on a tour with Wham! and the Pointer Sisters in 1985. “Anita was so kind and generous with her friendship and guidance to me. I learned a lot standing side of stage every night watching her amaze and excite the crowd.

“While watching Wham!, she told me something I will never forget. ‘It’s all about energy.’ Thank you for your energy and passion and the music that makes me and the world love you so much.”

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