The 69-year-old soul, disco and R&B singer suffered a cardiac arrest
Bonnie Pointer, lead vocalist and co-founder of The Pointer Sisters, has died of a cardiac arrest. She was 69 years old.
Born and raised in Oakland, California, Bonnie and her youngest sister June formed a duo known as The Pointers in 1969, changing their name to The Pointer Sisters when a thrid sibling, Anita, joined the band later that year. Eldest sister Ruth would also get involved in 1972, a year before they recorded their self-titled debut album and scored their first hit with Yes We Can Can.
Early Pointer Sisters recordings explored a wide range of musical territory, from funk and soul to country, big band swing and Hollywood show tunes. The band are best known for 1980s R&B/pop-dance hits Jump, I'm So Excited and Automatic, but by that time Bonnie had left the group, signing to Motown as a solo artist in 1978. She recorded four solo albums but commercial success as a solo artist sadly proved elusive, and by the mid-80s Bonnie had largely retired from music, though in later years she did perform live with her siblings on a couple of occasions, and she was working on her autobiography before she died.
Announcing the news, her sister Anita said: "Our family is devastated, on behalf of my siblings and I and the entire Pointer family, we ask for your prayers at this time. 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."
As ever, our thoughts are with her family and friends, and we'll leave you with that first breakout hit Yes We Can Can – an anthem to empowerment that's 47 years old, yet sounds remarkably topical in the current socio-political climate.
Pic: Wikimedia Commons