Anita Pointer, founder of the Pointer Sisters, dies at 74

Anita Pointer, a founding member of the genre-spanning pop group The Pointer Sisters, died Saturday at the age of 74. Her publicist Roger Neal said that she had been battling cancer for a long time.

The Pointer Sisters helped define the sound of the early 1980s with a sultry, sultry electronic sound and a brassy R&B approach. The group showed their range in recordings such as their original “I’m So Excited” and the Bruce Springsteen cover “Fire”. Anita Pointer was integral to the group’s success, writing and performing many of its best-known songs. His fingerprints are all over the group’s work – a song on its first album was named after his daughter Jada, who died in 2003.

With Anita’s death, Ruth Pointer is the last surviving member of the four siblings who made up the original Pointer Sisters. Ruth joined the already established trio in 1972.

Ruth released a statement after the death along with her brothers Aaron and Fritz and granddaughter Roxy McCain Pointer. “While we are deeply saddened by the loss of Anita, we are comforted to know that she is now with her daughter, Jada, and her sisters, June and Bonnie, and is at peace,” the statement said. “She was the one who kept all of us close and together for so long. His love for our family will live on in each of us. Please respect our privacy during this period of grief and loss. Heaven is a more lovely beautiful place with Anita.

The Pointer Sisters won three Grammys. The first, according to the Grammy Awards website, was the award for Best Country Vocal Performance by a Duo or Group for 1974’s “Fairytale,” written by Anita and Bonnie Pointer.

According to a biography on the group’s website, the country tune earned them enough credibility for the Pointer Sisters to become the first black female group to perform at the Grand Ole Opry. Elvis Presley cut a version of “Fairytale” on one of his last albums, “Today”.

Like Elvis, the sisters learned to sing on Sundays. He attended his father’s church in Oakland, California.

The group’s 1983 album “Break Out” earned it two other Grammys—Best Vocal Arrangement for “Automatic” and Best Pop Performance for “Jump (For My Love),” according to the Grammy website.

According to the group’s website, Anita Pointer’s singing career began in 1969 after she quit her job as a secretary in a legal office. She retired from the tour in 2015.

She was a collector of African American art and memorabilia. According to their publicist, they amassed such a collection that the entire second floor of the Hollywood Museum in Los Angeles was given over to the Pointer Sisters’ “Ever After” exhibit. Bonnie (who died in 2020), Anita and Ruth were the last photos taken at the exhibition.

Neill, her publicist, said that Anita Pointer died at 6:27 p.m. at her home in Beverly Hills, surrounded by Fritz, Roxy, and Ruth.

Neil said that no arrangements have been made. She provided a copy of a handwritten statement that Ruth Pointer had written to all who loved her sister.

“The pain is too deep,” she wrote. “I have no words other than the beautiful song you sang on ‘Freedom’.”

That song foreshadowed the group’s 1985 album “Contact” and includes this verse:

i wanna take you there (freedom)

I’m talking about freedom everywhere (freedom)

freedom but you, freedom but me

Oh, freedom, freedom (oh-oh-oh)

let me go, let me go, let me go

I want now, I want now

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