Anita Pointer Of The Pointer Sisters Has Died At 74

January 1, 2023 / Posted by:

Right before 2022 took its final bow and exited stage left, we were hit with more sad news and learned that we’d lost another Pointer Sister. Sadly, Anita Pointer, one of the founding members of the legendary Pointer Sisters, died on the last day of 2022. Anita’s death is one for the already-over-flowing Fuck Cancer files since she died after a long battle with cancer. Anita was 74.

Anita’s rep, Roger Neal, said in a statement that Anita was surrounded by her family when she died at her home in Beverly Hills, CA after a “somewhat lengthy and heroic battle with cancer.” Roger went on to say that Anita is now with her daughter, Jada, and her sisters, Bonnie and June. Cancer took Anita’s only child, Jada Rashawn Pointer, in 2003 when Jada was only 37 years old, and June also died of cancer in 2006 at the age of 52. Bonnie died in 2020.

“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. Heaven is a more loving beautiful place with Anita there.”

Anita Pointer was born on January 23, 1948, in Oakland, CA. She was the fourth of six children. Anita’s father was a reverend, so she regularly sang in church with her siblings. After high school, she got a job as a secretary, and around that time, her sisters Bonnie and June formed a duo called Pointers, A Pair. Not long after that, Anita traded in her typewriter for a mic and quit her secretary job to turn her sisters’ musical duo into a musical trio. The Pointer Sisters toured and did backup vocals for other artists like Sylvester and Grace Slick. In 1972, Ruth Pointer joined the group and became the last important ingredient in creating The Pointer Sisters!

Their self-titled debut album was released in 1972, and on it was their first hit, Yes We Can Can led by Anita Pointer!

On The Pointer Sisters’ second album, 1974’s That’s A Plenty, was a country song called Fairytale, which was written by Anita and Bonnie. Because the song was a country hit, The Pointer Sisters were invited to perform at the Grand Ole Opry, making them the first Black group to do so. The song also got The Pointer Sisters a Grammy for Best Country Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal. And as writers of the song, Anita and Bonnie won the Grammy for Best Country Song.

In the late-70s, The Pointer Sisters took a little break. June needed a breather, Ruth and Anita wanted to spend more time with their families, and Bonnie went solo. Bonnie eventually decided she didn’t want to return to The Pointer Sisters, and Anita later said that they didn’t think it was possible for the group to go on without her.

“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.”

But even without Bonnie, The Pointer Sisters made it work. AND HOW! The ’80s was the diamond-encrusted platinum era of The Pointer Sisters, and without them that decade would’ve been a lot less fun, glamorous, and magical. During the ’80s, The Pointer Sisters gifted us with many musical gems like He’s So Shy, I’m So Excited, Jump (For My Love), Should I Do It, Dare Me, Neutron Dance, and Slow Hand. Here’s Anita filling ears with her velvety smooth voice while performing Slow Hand with Ruth and June in 1981:

The Pointer Sisters picked up two more Grammys in the 1980s. They got their star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1994, and starred in a touring production of the musical Ain’t Misbehavin‘. They continued to perform and make music throughout the 90s, early aughts, and 2010s. The line-up has changed over the years, and Anita stayed with the group until 2015, when she retired due to her health issues. Anita released her memoir, Fairytale: The Pointer Sisters’ Family Story, in 2020.

Anita was married twice. When she was 17, she married David Harper. Anita gave birth to their daughter Jada in 1966. Anita and David divorced that same year. She married Richard Gonzalez in 1981, and they later divorced.

Anita is survived by her sister Ruth, her brothers Aaron and Fritz, and her granddaughter Roxie McKain Pointer.

Rest in peace, Anita Pointer.

Pic: Anita Pointer/William Norton

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