Anita Pointer, who scored a string of hits in the 1970s and ’80s with the sibling group the Pointer Sisters, is dead at 74

  • Pointer joined her sisters Bonnie and June to former the Pointer Sisters
  • The group had commercial success in the 1970s and ’80s
  • She appeared with her sisters in the 1976 film Car Wash
  • Anita’s sister June died in 2006, while Bonnie died in 2020

Anita Pointer, who sang with her sisters to commercial fame as the Pointer Sisters, has died at the age of 74.

Pointer died at her Los Angeles on Saturday, New Year’s Eve, according to her publicist Roger Neal.

The vocal group, which switched between a trio and a quarter, scored hits with songs including I’m So Excited, Jump (For My Love) and the Bruce Springsteen–penned Fire.

Pointer’s death comes just two years after her sister Bonnie Pointer — who co-founded the Pointer Sisters in the late 1960s before going solo in the ’80s — died in 2020.

Swan song: Anita Pointer, who sang with her sisters and family members in the popular R&B and pop group the Pointer Sisters, died on Saturday at 74, her publicist announced; seen in 2019 in LA

Swan song: Anita Pointer, who sang with her sisters and family members in the popular R&B and pop group the Pointer Sisters, died on Saturday at 74, her publicist announced; seen in 2019 in LA

The singer–songwriter was surrounded by family at the time of her death, which he attributed to cancer. 

‘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,’ Pointer’s family shared in a statement. ‘Heaven is a more loving beautiful place with Anita there.’

‘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,’ the statement continued, before requesting that fans respect her family’s privacy.

Although the group began in the late ’60s as a duo with Bonnie and June Pointer, Anita soon joined to expand it into a trio, before sister Ruth Pointer expanded the band into a quartet in late 1972, just before kicking off its commercial peak. 

Triple power: After her sister Bonnie and June started a duo in 1969, Anita joined to expand the Pointer Sisters into a trio; seen with sisters Ruth and June in 1980

Triple power: After her sister Bonnie and June started a duo in 1969, Anita joined to expand the Pointer Sisters into a trio; seen with sisters Ruth and June in 1980

Hitmakers: The vocal group, which switched between a trio and a quarter, scored hits with songs including I'm So Excited, Jump (For My Love) and the Bruce Springsteen–penned Fire; Ruth, June and Anita seen in 1979

Hitmakers: The vocal group, which switched between a trio and a quarter, scored hits with songs including I’m So Excited, Jump (For My Love) and the Bruce Springsteen–penned Fire; Ruth, June and Anita seen in 1979

The sisters grew up singing in the church of their father, a preacher in Oakland, California.

Their debut album in 1973 produced their first hit single, Yes We Can Can.

Among their bigger hits were Fire in 1978, He’s So Shy in 1980, Slow Hand in 1981, and Neutron Dance, Automatic and Jump in 1983. I’m So Excited from 1982 remains a standard.

The group won three Grammy awards over its decades-long career. 

Family: In recent years, the group continued performing with Ruth singing along with her daughter Issa and granddaughter Sadako; Anita (R) joined by sister Ruth Pointer (L) and daughter Sadako Johnson

Family: In recent years, the group continued performing with Ruth singing along with her daughter Issa and granddaughter Sadako; Anita (R) joined by sister Ruth Pointer (L) and daughter Sadako Johnson

Anita’s tenure with the Pointer Sisters ended in 2015, when she stepped back due to poor health. 

In recent years, the group continued performing with Ruth singing along with her daughter Issa and granddaughter Sadako.

In a 2019 interview, Anita gave the new lineup her seal of approval, via Variety

‘They are doing some great shows and have been all over the world, without me,’ she said. ‘I worked with Issa and Sadako, so they got a good feel for what I do until I had somewhat of a forced retirement, due to health reasons, but Ruthie can still sing so strongly and loves it.’

Time off: Anita's tenure with the Pointer Sisters ended in 2015, when she stepped back due to poor health; seen in 2012 in New Orleans

Time off: Anita’s tenure with the Pointer Sisters ended in 2015, when she stepped back due to poor health; seen in 2012 in New Orleans

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