Bonnie Pointer, one of the famed members of the Pointer Sisters, has passed away. She was 69.
“It is with great sadness that I have to announce to the fans of the Pointer Sisters that my sister Bonnie died this morning,” Anita Pointer said in regards to her sister Patricia aka Bonnie. “Our family is devastated. On behalf of my siblings and I and the entire Pointer family, we ask for your prayers at this time.”
Bonnie Pointer was one of the founding members of the group in the 1970s before she left to pursue a solo career.
“Bonnie was my best friend and we talked every day,” Anita said in a statement. “We never had a fight in our life. I already miss her and I will see her again one day.”
She’s preceded in death by the family’s younger sister, June, who passed in 2006. Bonnie and Anita Pointer released a tribute song for June titled “Feels Like June.” It was her final recording.
“Bonnie in particular was driven, citing a desperate need to do something with her life,” Ruth Pointer wrote about her sister in her memoir, I’m So Excited: My Life as a Pointer. “She was wild, fierce, and not to be denied. She hung out in Haight-Ashbury with the hippies, protested at Berkeley, wrote poetry with Angela Davis, and dated Huey Newton, co-founder of the Black Panther Party.”
In a 2013 interview with Alan Mercer, Bonnie said, “I knew I didn’t want to work a regular 9 to 5 job. I wanted to do something that I like to do. I am an entertainer and I’ve always done that since I was a little girl. My mother always used to tell me to dance for her friends. When my parents went to church, me and my sisters would get up on the coffee table and sing. We would use a pie pan as a tambourine.”
She continued, “Then, when I was in high school someone told me I could sing. I never thought I really could. I would sing along with Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell. So when they told me I could sing I started to believe them.” Performing for her was “desperation. I wanted out of the ghetto. I wasn’t even in the ghetto really, but I still wanted out.”
She won a Grammy in 1974 along with Anita Pointer for the crossover song “Fairytale.” It was later covered by Elvis Presley not long after the Grammy win. Bonnie Pointer left the Pointer Sisters in 1977. During her time in the Pointer sisters, first, when the group was a trio and then later a foursome, they released their first top 10 hit, “Yes We Can Can,” in 1972.
As Bonnie’s solo career took off, she released her biggest song, “Heaven Must Have Sent You” in 1979. She released four solo albums with her final album, Like A Picasso arriving in 2011. The Pointer Sister received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1994.
Bonnie Pointer is survived by her brothers Aaron and Fritz and her sisters, Ruth and Anita.