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Anita Pointer Dead: the singer of the Pointer Sisters was 74 years old

Anita Pointer Dead: the singer of the Pointer Sisters was 74 years old

Anita Pointer, who rose to fame in the 1970s as a member of the hit singing group The Pointer Sisters, died on Saturday aged 74. No cause of death was given, but her publicist said she died surrounded by her family.

“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 at peace,” said a statement jointly attributed to her friends. four closest survivors – one his sister Ruth, his brothers Aaron and Fritz, and his granddaughter Roxie McKain Pointer. “She is the one who has kept us all close and together for so long. Her love for our family will live on in all of us. Please respect our privacy during this time of grief and loss. Heaven is a beautiful, more loving place with Anita there.

Anita was with the Oakland-based band from its formation in 1969 until she was forced to retire for unspecified health reasons in 2015.

The Pointer Sisters had a hit album from the get-go in 1973 as their self-titled debut reached No. 13 on the albums chart. Their first major hit single was a recording of Allen Toussaint’s “Yes We Can Can”, which narrowly missed the top 10, peaking at No. 11 on the Billboard Hot 100 and No. 12 on the R&B chart.

As they ditched the nostalgic look they started with, the sisters had their first and only R&B No. 1 hit in 1975 with “How Long (Betcha Got a Chick on the Side)”. It would be a few more years before they hit the top 10 on the Hot 100, but once they did, the floodgates opened.

This phenomenal pop hit started in earnest with a version of Bruce Springsteen’s “Fire” which reached No. 2 on the pop chart in 1978. Anita recalled in an interview with Goldmine about the song Springsteen, “I said to Richard Perry that there was such a big voice on that song that maybe he wanted Ruthie to sing lead because she had the big voice, but he said, ‘No. I want you to sing it. So I did it and it became our first gold single and I was so thrilled.

Then, in the mid-1980s, the hits kept coming. In 1980, “He’s So Shy” reached No. 3. “Slow Hand” went to No. 2 in 1981. “Neutron Dance” went to No. 6 in 1984 and “Jump (for My Love)” hit No. 3. that same year. Another essential hit of the era, “Automatic”, peaked at No. 5 in 1984. “I’m So Excited”, a track with lead vocals by Anita, was only a minor hit for the Sisters in 1982, but was re-released in remixed form in 1984 and this time went all the way to #9.

The band also had success on the legitimate stage and screen, touring with “Ain’t Misbehavin'”, based on Fats Waller’s catalog of songs, and appearing in the hit 1976 comedy “Car Wash”.

The streak of pop hits came to an end in the mid-1980s, when the 1985 single “Dare Me” at No. 11 marked the last time the Pointer Sisters reached the top 20. After being off the charts entirely Since the start of the ’90s, the sisters had a final chart success in 2005 with “Christmas in New York,” which peaked at No. 21 on the Adult Contemporary chart.

For as often as the sisters have been held off at No. 2 or 3 in their still-ubiquitous song streak, they’ve had a touch at No. 1 as star contestants of the charity single “We Are the World” in 1985. .

Their biggest single by far was 1983’s “Break Out”, which was certified three times platinum; it was the LP that included “Neutron Dance”, “Jump”, and “Automatic”. In 1984 it was reissued with the new version of “I’m So Excited” sung and co-written by Anita added to the lineup.

The group received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1994.

The group’s three Grammys include one in a country category, for the 1974 song “Fairytale,” an anecdote point that comes up often when the lack of black representation in that genre is discussed. Anita explained that a love of country music came naturally to them because they spent summers with relatives in Arkansas, where it was all they heard. “I only remember listening to one radio station from Arkansas,” Anita said. “All they played was country music: ‘Your Cheatin’ Heart’ by Hank Williams, ‘Do Not Forsake Me Oh My Darlin’ by Tex Ritter and ‘Funny How Time Slips Away’ by Willie Nelson. The only time I heard black performers was when I snuck into the local juke joints and pressed my ear to the door… For me, it was good music. I really liked the country, short story format. The band performed in legendary fashion on the Grand Ole Opry in 1974.

Pointer and his brother Fritz collaborated on a family memoir, titled “Fairytale,” in 2020.

Two other sisters who were with the group for most of its existence predeceased Anita – June Pointer in 2006 and Bonnie Pointer in 2020.

Ruth Pointer is the oldest member of the group, having joined in 1972, three years after June, Bonnie and Anita began performing together. Ruth now tours under the Pointer Sisters banner with two younger members, Issa Pointer, who joined the band in 2002, and Sadako Pointer, who joined in 2009. In a 2019 interview, Anita signaled her approval for the band to go on without it. “Yhey does great shows and has been all over the world, without me,” she said. “I worked with Issa and Sadako, so they had a good idea of ​​what I’m doing until I kind of had a forced retirement, for health reasons, but Ruthie can still sing so loud and love it.”

Pointer’s only daughter, Jada Pointer, who had inspired the Pointer Sisters’ song “Jada” in 1973, died of cancer in 2003, after which Anita devoted herself to raising her only granddaughter, Roxie.

“It’s been a wonderful career. I hadn’t planned on any of this,” she told Goldmine. In 1969, she pointed out, “I intended to continue as a secretary in a law office, like I was, when I heard Bonnie and June sing in the Northern California State Youth Choir, performing “Oh Happy Day,” with Edwin Hawkins and Dorothy Morrison, and I just loved it. So I quit my job and said I had to do this too.