Bonnie Pointer, member of the Pointer Sisters, dies aged 69
(Credit: Nationaal Archief)

Bonnie Pointer, founding member of the Pointer Sisters, has died aged 69

Bonnie Pointer, a co-founding member of the Pointer Sisters, has passed away at the age of 69.

Her death, confirmed by the Pointer family, is said to have occurred after Bonnie Pointer cardiac arrest.

“It is with great sadness that I have to announce to the fans of the Pointer Sisters that my sister Bonnie died this morning,” her older sister, Anita, said in a statement. “Our family is devastated. On behalf of my siblings and I and the entire Pointer family, we ask for your prayers at this time.”

She added: “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.”

The Pointer Sisters, a much-loved R&B girl group who formed in Oakland, California in 1970, achieved mainstream and international success which ran for four long decades as they successfully incorporated elements of pop, disco, jazz, blues, soul, funk and rock music into their sound.

With 16 studio albums to their name, The Pointer Sisters gained numerous chart hits throughout their time and, in 1975, claimed victory at the Grammy Award’s for Best Country Vocal Performance on their song ‘Fairytale’.

Discussing Bonnie’s passion for music, Ruth Pointer writes in her memoir I’m So Excited: My Life as a Pointer: “Bonnie in particular was driven, citing a desperate need to do something with her life. She was wild, fierce, and not to be denied. She hung out in Haight-Ashbury with the hippies, protested at Berkeley, wrote poetry with Angela Davis, and dated Huey Newton, co-founder of the Black Panther Party.”

Bonnie Pointer herself would detail her full desire for success, speaking in a 2013 interview with Alan Mercer: “I knew I didn’t want to work a regular 9 to 5 job. I wanted to do something that I like to do. I am an entertainer and I’ve always done that since I was a little girl. My mother always used to tell me to dance for her friends. When my parents went to church, me and my sisters would get up on the coffee table and sing,” she said.

“We would use a pie pan as a tambourine. Then, when I was in high school someone told me I could sing. I never thought I really could. I would sing along with Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell.  So when they told me I could sing I started to believe them.”

In the same interview Bonnie detail her desire: “Desperation,” she answered frankly. “I wanted out of the ghetto. I wasn’t even in the ghetto really, but I still wanted out.”

RIP.

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