In Memoriam: Anita Pointer (1948 – 2022)

Anita Marie Pointer (January 23, 1948 – December 31, 2022) was an American singer-songwriter, best known as a founding member of the vocal group the Pointer Sisters.

She and her sisters found fame in 1973, when the Anita-led “Yes We Can Can” reached No. 11 on the Billboard Hot 100. In 1974, Pointer’s 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” 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 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.

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

Pointer’s older brother, Aaron Pointer, was an MLB player and later NFL referee. Her cousin, Paul Silas, was an NBA player and head coach.

In October 2021, Pointer 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.

Pointer died from cancer at her home in Los Angeles on December 31, 2022, at the age of 74. Her daughter Jada died of cancer aged 37 in 2003. Her sister June died in 2006 due to cancer.