(CelebrityAccess) — Bonnie Pointer, a founding member of the the Grammy Award–winning vocal group, The Pointer Sisters, died on Monday at the age of 69.
“It is with great sadness that I have to announce to the fans of The Pointer Sisters that my sister, Bonnie died this morning. Our family is devastated, on behalf of my siblings and I and the entire Pointer family, we ask for your prayers at this time,” her sister Anita said in a statement provided to TMZ.
Bonnie, who was born in Oakland in 1950, began singing in a duo with her sister June while they were still teenagers and in 1968, they formed The Pointers, which was expanded to The Pointer Sisters later that year when they were joined by their sister Anita and eventually Ruth.
In their early years, the sisters took a page from an older sister-act, The Andrews Sisters, dressing in elegant fashion lifted from 1940s as they blended a diverse array of sounds, from R&B, and funk, to rock and roll, gospel, country and soul.
The approach worked and the Pointer Sisters quickly found chart success. Their 1973 debut album “The Pointer Sisters” bolstered by word of mouth buzz and propelled by a performance at the Troubadour in Los Angeles was quickly certified triple gold by the RIAA on the strength of hits such as “Yes We Can Can” and “Wang Dang Doodle.”
The following year, The Pointer Sisters scored a major country crossover hit with “Fairytale” which won the Pointers a Grammy for best country vocal performance by a group. Written by Bonnie and Anita, the track peaked at 13 on the Billboard Hot 100 and 37 on the Hot Country Singles chart.
However, despite the group’s initial success, Bonnie set her sights on a solo career and exited the Pointer Sisters in 1977.
She later signed to Motown Records and and scored an early hit with “Heaven Must Have Sent You,” which reached No. 11 on Billboard Hot 100 chart. She followed it up with two more albums, but failed to gain traction on the charts.
She returned to the stage to perform with her sisters twice – once for their Hollywood Walk of Fame induction ceremony in 1994 and for a show in Las Vegas two years later.
In 2008, she returned to the stage for a solo tour that included performances in Europe and Atlantic City. She released a final album “Like a Picasso” in 2011 via Platinum Trini Entertainment.
She married her Motown producer Jeffrey Bowen in 1978, but they separated in 2004 and subsequently filed for divorce.