Anita Pointer obituary | Music

Anita Pointer, who has died from most cancers aged 74, was a member of the Pointer Sisters from their formation in 1969 till sickness compelled her to step down in 2015. They achieved fast success with their debut album, The Pointer Sisters, in 1973, which reached No 13 on the US chart, and their first single, the Allen Toussaint composition Sure We Can Can, went to No 11.

They loved additional success with How Lengthy (Betcha Received a Chick on the Aspect), a High 20 hit, from the Steppin’ album (1975), and their look within the 1976 film Automobile Wash propelled their single You Gotta Imagine into the R&B High 20. However it was not till the group signed to the producer Richard Perry’s Planet Data that they have been launched into the pop stratosphere. The album Power (1978) entered the US High 20 and gave them a serious hit with a model of Bruce Springsteen’s Hearth.

Anita described to Goldmine journal how she had mentioned to Perry that “perhaps he needed Ruthie to sing lead as she had the large voice, however he mentioned ‘No, I would like you to sing it’. So I did and it grew to become our first gold single and I used to be simply so thrilled.”

In 1983 they launched Break Out, a multi-platinum vendor, which delivered a quartet of big electro-pop singles, Bounce (For My Love), Computerized, Neutron Dance and I’m So Excited (a remix of their 1982 hit). This was the one single from the album that includes Anita’s lead vocals and it now reached No 9. Computerized, in addition to reaching 5 within the US, gave the Sisters their highest-ever chart inserting within the UK when it peaked at No 2. They acquired an additional industrial enhance when Computerized was used within the 1984 movie Beverly Hills Cop. “We simply obtained so well-known swiftly from that tune being within the film,” Anita marvelled. The group received Grammy awards for Bounce (For My Love) and Computerized.

Anita Pointer obituary | Music
The Pointer Sisters in 1974 – Anita, second from left, with, from left, Ruth, Bonnie and June. Their penchant for sporting classic clothes prompted their followers to comply with go well with. {Photograph}: Chris Walter/WireImage

Anita was born in Oakland, California, the second daughter of the Rev Elton Pointer and his spouse Sarah (nee Silas). Her older sister, Ruth, had been born in 1946, and two youthful sisters, Bonnie and June, arrived in 1950 and 1953 respectively. The ladies had two gifted older brothers: Aaron went on to have an illustrious profession in baseball, whereas Fritz, who grew to become an English professor, additionally at one stage managed the Pointer Sisters, and co-authored the guide Fairytale: The Pointer Sisters’ Household Story (2020) with Anita.

In 1965 Anita graduated from Oakland technical highschool, and in the identical yr, aged 17, she married David Harper. Their daughter, Jada, born in 1966, was the inspiration for the tune Jada on the sisters’ debut album. The Pointer women steadily sang gospel music of their father’s church, the West Oakland Church of God, however as youngsters within the 60s they might not assist being lured away by the heady pleasure of rock’n’roll, although their dad and mom thought of it the work of the satan.

Bonnie and June fashioned a duo, Pointers, a Pair, in 1969. Anita then stop her job as a secretary to affix them and so they grew to become the Pointer Sisters. “I used to be planning on persevering with being a secretary in a regulation workplace, like I used to be doing,” she recalled, “after I heard Bonnie and June singing within the Northern California State Youth Choir … So I stop my job and mentioned I had to do that too.”

They reduce their skilled tooth by working with a wide range of artists from the burgeoning San Francisco music scene, together with Boz Scaggs, Jefferson Airplane’s Grace Slick and the blues guitar participant Elvin Bishop. The native rock promoter Invoice Graham signed them up for administration, and it was whereas supporting Bishop on the Whisky a Go Go membership in Los Angeles that they have been signed by Jerry Wexler from Atlantic Data. They launched a number of unsuccessful singles with Atlantic, although one among them, Ship Him Again, grew to become a favorite on the British northern soul circuit. The group grew to become a quartet when Ruth joined in 1972.

Anita Pointer performing at the Essence music festival in New Orleans in 2012.
Anita Pointer performing on the Essence music pageant in New Orleans in 2012. {Photograph}: Erika Goldring/Getty Photos

They moved to the Blue Thumb label and launched their debut album, The Pointer Sisters, the next yr. Their penchant for sporting Forties classic clothes prompted their followers to comply with go well with, and their second album, That’s a A lot, discovered them pursuing jazz, gospel and bebop types. Additionally they made a strikingly profitable foray into nation music with Fairytale, a No 13 pop hit that additionally reached the nation music High 50. It earned the sisters an invite to carry out on the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, making them the primary black group to play there. Fairytale (written by Anita and Bonnie) received them a Grammy award, and was recorded by Elvis Presley.

After their album Having a Get together (1977) was a flop, June and Bonnie left the group. Ruth and Anita determined they need to intention for a extra modern course, and so they signed with Planet Data. June returned to the fold, and the three-piece Pointer Sisters now launched into their interval of biggest success with Power, on which they coated songs by Steely Dan, Fleetwood Mac and Stephen Stills, amongst others.

It was the beginning of an extended streak of success with Perry’s label. The album Particular Issues (1980) reached the High 40 and Black and White went to No 12 (and spun off the No 2 hit Sluggish Hand), nevertheless it was the success of Break Out, a High 10 album within the US and the UK, that put the icing on the cake. The group’s final album to go platinum was Contact (1985) and their remaining studio album was Solely Sisters Can Do That (1993).

In 1986, Anita hit No 2 on the nation chart when she teamed up with the nation artist Earl Thomas Conley on the only Too Many Occasions, and she or he launched the solo album Love For What It Is in 1987. In 1995-96, the Pointer Sisters toured with the musical revue Ain’t Misbehavin’, based mostly on the tune catalogue of Fat Waller. The group acquired a star on the Hollywood Stroll of Fame in 1994.

Anita Pointer’s two marriages each led to divorce. Her daughter died in 2003, and her sisters, June, in 2006, and Bonnie in 2020. She is survived by a granddaughter, Roxie, and her siblings, Ruth, Aaron and Fritz.

Anita Marie Pointer, singer and songwriter, born 23 January 1948; died 31 December 2022

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