Anita Pointer, one of the founding members of the legendary singing group, “The Pointer Sisters,” died at her home Saturday, surrounded by her loving family.

Her family released the following statement about her passing.

“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 and Bonnie, and at peace.

“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.”

Her official cause of death has not yet been released, but according to TMZ, the icon had experienced a “lengthy and heroic battle with cancer.”

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HER LIFE (source: Wikipedia)

Anita Marie Pointer was born in Oakland, California, on January 23, 1948, as the fourth of six children to Sarah Elizabeth and Reverend Elton Pointer, both of whom were natives of Arkansas.

During her childhood, she played alto sax as a member of the high School band, and in 1969, quit her job as a secretary to join her younger sisters, Bonnie and June, to form “The Pointer Sisters.”

The singers found fame in 1973, when Anita sang lead on “Yes We Can Can”, which reached No. 11 on the Billboard Hot 100. In 1974, her writing talents helped the group make music history when “Fairytale” became a hit on the country music charts and enabled The Pointer Sisters to become the first black female group to perform at the Grand Ole Opry. “Fairytale,” which featured Anita on lead vocals, won the group its first Grammy Award for Best Country Performance by a Duo or Group, and a Grammy Nomination for the Best Country Song of the year in 1975.

In the late 1970s and early 1980s, The Pointer Sisters rose to higher levels of success. Anita was the lead singer on many of their hits, including “Fire” (1978) and “Slow Hand” (1981), which both reached No 2 on the Billboard pop chart, and “I’m So Excited” (1982), which spent 40 weeks on the chart. Their other hits included “He’s So Shy” (1980) and “Jump (For My Love)” (1984).

In 1983, the trio’s album “Break Out” reached multi-platinum status and won the group two more Grammy Awards in 1984. In 1986, Anita found chart success with country superstar Earl Thomas Conley on the song “Too Many Times,” which reached No. 2 on the country chart. In 1987, she released her first solo album “Love for What It Is.” Her album’s first single, “Overnight Success,” reached No. 41 on the Billboard R&B chart. A second single from the album, “More Than a Memory,” also charted, reaching No. 73 R&B in 1988.

In 1994, Anita and her sisters received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and in 1998, Anita was singularly inducted into the Arkansas Black Hall of Fame. In 2015, Anita retired from The Pointer Sisters after medical issues following chemotherapy.

In February 2020, Anita released the book, “Fairytale: The Pointer Sisters’ Family Story,” which was co-written with her brother, Fritz Pointer. The book chronicles the Pointer family origins and history as well as finding themselves as young Black women in the San Francisco Bay Area during the Civil Rights and Black Power movement of the late 1960s. As well, it describes the difficulties and successes they encountered throughout their career and shares their chart history, discography and other surprises along the way. Throughout the book, family members also share their memories of the Pointer family history including Bonnie, who passed in June 2020. The book earned positive reviews upon release.

Anita was married several times and had one child. In December 1965, at age 17, she married David Harper. They had a daughter, Jada Rashawn Pointer, born April 9, 1966. They divorced later that year.

Her daughter inspired one of the Pointer Sisters’ most popular songs, “Jada,” written by the group and released on their debut album in 1973. In October 1981, Anita married Richard Gonzalez, whom she later divorced.

Her older brother, Aaron Pointer, was an MLB player and later NFL referee. Her cousin, Paul Silas, was an NBA player and head coach. Paul’s son, Stephen Silas, followed in his father’s footsteps and is currently the head coach of the Houston Rockets.

In October 2021, Anita was supposed to be a contestant on season 6 of The Masked Singer, as part of a duet with her sister Ruth, who revealed that Pointer had not performed because she was dealing with an illness.