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Anita Pointer, the Grammy-winning artist who was a founding member of the R&B pop sister group The Pointer Sisters, has died. She was 74.
“She fought a very heroic battle with cancer,” her publicist, Roger Neal, told The Hollywood Reporter. “She was surrounded by family at the time of her death.”
Pointer’s sister Ruth, brothers Aaron and Fritz and granddaughter Roxie McKain Pointer released a joint statement after her death on Saturday night.
“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,” their statement read. “She was the one that kept all of us close and together for so long.”
They continued, “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.”
Pointer was born in Oakland, California, on Jan. 23, 1948. She was the fourth of six children and grew up singing in her dad’s church with her sisters. In 1969, she and her younger sisters Bonnie, June and Ruth formed the Pointer Sisters.
The Pointer Sisters’ debut album gave them their first Grammy-winning hit “Fairytale,” which crossed over from country charts to pop charts and eventually led to them being the first African American group to perform at the Grand Ole Opry. They were also the first contemporary act to perform at the San Francisco Opera House.
In 1976, the group made their feature film debut with Car Wash, and their song “Neutron Dance” was featured in Beverly Hills Cop. Their biggest album, Breakout, went triple-platinum and featured hits like “Jump” and “Automatic,” eventually winning them two American Music Awards.
The Pointer Sisters won three Grammys over the course of their careers, and they were inducted into the Soul Train Hall of Fame.
Survivors include Ruth, Aaron, Fritz and Roxie McKain.
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