The Pointer Sisters lost one of its founding members on June 8: Bonnie Pointer. The legendary singer’s sister, Anita Pointer, shared the heartbreaking news in a statement to HollywoodLife just hours after Bonnie passed away at 69 years old: “It is with great sadness that I have to announce to the fans of The Pointer Sisters that my sister, Bonnie died this morning. Our family is devastated, on behalf of my siblings and I and the entire Pointer family, we ask for your prayers at this time.”
More than five decades after launching their music career, Anita revealed that she was still as close as ever with her sister. “Bonnie was my best friend and we talked every day, we never had a fight in our life, I already miss her and I will see her again one day,” Anita added in her statement. Bonnie will also be missed by her many fans thanks to the remarkable impact she left in the music industry, which you can learn more about below:
1. Bonnie launched to fame as part of the multi-genre group, The Pointer Sisters. The group actually started as a duo in 1969: Pointers, a Pair. Bonnie and her sister, June Pointer (who has also passed away), performed as this singing duo in clubs and eventually expanded to include their sister, Anita Pointer. They soon landed a record deal with Atlantic Records, but found more success after recruiting their fourth and final member, sister Ruth Pointer, in 1972 and making the move to Blue Thumb Records. The Pointer Sisters released a self-titled debut album in 1973, and even won a Grammy award for “Best Country Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal” for their performance of “Fairytale” in 1975. Bonnie co-wrote this hit with Anita!
2. Bonnie decided to pursue a solo career in the late ’70s. The Pointer Sisters rose to prominence in the pop/disco/R&B scene with ’80s hits like a remixed version of “I’m So Excited,” “Jump For My Love” and “Automatic.” However, Bonnie decided to leave the group in 1978, after recording five albums with her sisters.
3. Bonnie made her mark as a solo singer. She signed with the iconic Motown Records label in 1978, and released her most famous song that same year: “Heaven Must Have Sent You.” The Elgins originally recorded the song in 1966, but Bonnie turned it into a disco hit that reached the No. 11 spot on Billboard’s “Hot 100” chart. She released three studio albums during her time with Motown Records.
“She had always told me, Mother, I want something for myself. I want to be somebody in this world,” Anita’s late mother, Sarah Pointer, recalled in a 1974 interview that was resurfaced in Bonnie’s death announcement.
4. Bonnie is survived by her two remaining sisters, and other family members. In addition to her sisters Anita and Ruth, Bonnie has left behind her brothers Aaron and Fitz. Bonnie and her family were incredibly close; she and her sisters had their first gigs singing gospel music at their father’s church, The West Oakland Church of God in Oakland, California.
5. Celebrities are mourning Bonnie’s death. Fellow Grammy-winning singer and disco icon Gloria Gaynor tweeted, “So sorry to hear of the passing of Bonnie Pointer of the Pointer Sisters. My prayers & heartfelt condolences go out to her family, friends & fans. I pray peace for her family & that soon sweet memories of her will bring smiles to their faces before bringing tears to their eyes.”