Anita Pointer, one of four singing sisters who found pop success and critical acclaim with her group The Pointer Sisters, died on Saturday at the age of 74, her press agent announced.
Her agent Roger Neill said the Grammy winner died while out with relatives. The cause of death was not disclosed.
“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. She was the one who kept us close and together for so long,” her sister Ruth, brothers Aaron and Fritz, and granddaughter Roxy McCain Pointer said in the statement.
Jada Pointer, Anita Pointer’s only daughter, died in 2003.
Anita, Ruth, Bonnie and June Pointer, daughters of a minister, grew up singing in their father’s church in Oakland, California.
The group’s debut album in 1973, titled “The Pointer Sisters”, included the hit “Yes We Can”. The singer, known for hits including “I’m So Excited,” “Slow Hand,” “Neutron Dance” and “Jump (For My Love),” earned a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1994.
His 1983 album “Break Out” went triple platinum and garnered two American Music Awards. Neil noted that the group won three Grammy Awards and had 13 songs in the Top 20 charts between 1973 and 1985.
He noted that the Pointer Sisters were also the first African-American group to perform on the Grand Ole Opry and the first contemporary music group to sing at the San Francisco Opera House.
Bonnie Pointer left the group in 1997 and signed a solo deal with Motown Records, but achieved only modest success.
“We are devastated,” said Anita Pointer. “We came to sing the night she left, but after that, we just stopped. We felt that now things will not work without Boney.”
The group, which later had new members including younger relatives, continued recording until 1993.
June Pointer died of cancer in 2006 at the age of 52.
Anita Pointer announced Bonnie Pointer’s death in 2020 at the age of 69 from a heart attack.
He said in a statement at the time, “The Pointer Sisters would never have existed if it weren’t for Bonnie.”