Grammy-winning singer Anita Pointer, a founding member of the Pointer Sisters who had a string of hit songs in the 70s and 80s, has died of cancer at her home in Beverly Hills, her publicist said on New Year’s Day. She was 74.
Pointer’s family confirmed her death on the group’s website.
“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,” the family statement said. “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. Please respect our privacy during this period of grief and loss. Heaven is a more loving beautiful place with Anita there.”
Born Jan. 23, 1948 in Oakland, Anita Pointer was the oldest of the quartet that gained fame as the Pointer Sisters with such hits as “He’s So Shy,” “Slow Hand,” “Fire,” “Neutron Dance,” “Automatic,” “Jump (For My Love)” and “I’m So Excited.” The group’s breakout hit, “Yes We Can Can” came from their self-titled debut album in 1973.
Between 1973 and 1985, the group had 13 Top 20 hits. They won three Grammy Awards and received seven other nominations. The sisters first gained notoriety singing at West Oakland Church of God where their parents, Elton and Sarah, were pastors.