Anita Pointer, Member of the ’80s Pop Group the Pointer Sisters, Dies at 74

Anita Pointer, founding member of the pop group The Pointer Sisters, died on New Year’s Eve after losing a battling with cancer, her family announced Sunday. Pointer was 74.

“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,” Anita’s sister Ruth, brothers Aaron and Fritz and granddaughter Roxie McKain said in a statement.

“She was the one that kept all of us close and together for so long. Her love of our family will live on in each of us. Please respect our privacy during this period of grief and loss. Heaven is a more loving beautiful place with Anita there.”

Pointer passed quietly at her Los Angeles home surrounded by her family, her publicist Roger Neal told the media.

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Born Anita Marie Pointer in Oakland, California, the fourth of six children. When she was 21, she joined her sisters Bonnie and June to for The Pointer Sisters. In 1973, just four years after their start, they found success with their first hit, “Yes We Can Can” and, a year later, their song “Fairytale” climbed the country music charts and led them to becoming the first black female group to perform at the Grand Ole Opry. It went on to win a Grammy for Best Country Performance and nomination for Best Country Song of the Year.

The Pointer Sisters reached a highpoint in their career in the late 1970s and early ‘80s with “Fire,” “He’s So Shy,” “Slow Hand,” “Automatic,” “Jump (For My Love),” “I’m So Excited” and “Neutron Dance,” which was featured on the “Beverly Hills Cop” soundtrack.

All in All, the Pointer Sisters won 3 Grammy Awards, received a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and had 13 U.S. Top 20 hits between 1973 and 1985.

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