Anita Pointer, of the Grammy-winning Pointer Sisters, who rose to fame with hits in the 1970s and 1980s, including “I’m So Excited,” died of cancer on Saturday, her publicist announced. She was 74 years old.
Anita was surrounded by her family at the time of her death, her publicist said in a declaration.
Anita was the second oldest of four sisters, who began singing at their father’s church in Oakland, California, more than 50 years ago. She is survived by her sister Ruth, her brothers Aaron and Fritz and her granddaughter Roxie.
Anita’s only daughter, Jada, died in 2003. Her death also comes after her sister Bonnie, who was also a founding member of the group but left in the mid-1970s to pursue a solo career. , died in 2020 at the age of 69. the younger sister, June, died in 2006.
“While we are deeply saddened by the loss of Anita, we take comfort in knowing that she is now with her daughter, Jada and her sisters June and Bonnie and at peace,” the family said in a statement.
“She was the one who kept us all close and together for so long. Her love for our family will live on in each of us. Please respect our privacy during this time of grief and loss. Heaven is a more loving and beautiful place with Anita there,” they added.
The Pointer Sisters began as a trio in 1969 when Anita quit her job as a secretary to join her sisters Bonnie and June, according to the statement.
Bill Graham signed them to a management contract and they went on tour with Elvin Bishop. The older sister, Ruth, joined the group in 1972 to form the quartet.
The Pointer Sisters released their debut album in 1973, with their single “Yes We Can Can” becoming an instant hit, peaking at number 11 on the Billboard charts.
They won the Grammy a year later, in 1974, with their crossover hit “Fairytale,” from the album “That’s a Plenty,” which Anita wrote with Bonita and Elvis Presley also later recorded.
The group would win two more Grammy Awards in 1984 for “Automatic,” part of their best-selling album “Breakout,” and later received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1994. They also performed at the closing ceremony for the Games. 1996 Atlanta Olympics.
Among his biggest hits were the R&B sensation “Fire,” which reached No. 2 on the charts, and “Jump (For My Love).”
Reuters Y Variety contributed.