Bonnie Pointer, a member of the 1970s R&B group the Pointer Sisters, died Monday morning at age 69. Pointer was an original member of the group, whose hits include "Fairytale," "Jump (For My Love)," "I'm So Excited" and "Automatic." She left the group in the 1970s to begin a solo career, and scored her biggest hit with "Heaven Must Have Sent You" in 1978.
"It is with great sadness that I have to announce to the fans of The Pointer Sisters that my sister, Bonnie died this morning. Our family is devastated, on behalf of my siblings and I and the entire Pointer family, we ask for your prayers at this time," Pointer's sister Anita Pointer told TMZ. "Bonnie was my best friend and we talked every day, we never had a fight in our life, I already miss her and I will see her again one day."
Pointer founded the Pointer sisters with her younger sister June Pointer before Anita joined them in 1971. They became a quartet in 1973 when older sister Ruth joined. At first, the group recorded for Atlantic and won their first Grammy for "Fairytale," a crossover country hit. Pointer left the group in 1977 to sign a solo deal with Motown, where she released two solo albums and scored a hit with "Heaven Must Have Sent You." She also had a hit in 1979 with a disco cover of "I Can't Help Myself (Sugar Pie Honey Bunch)."
Pointer went on to release two more solo albums in 1984 and 2011. In 1978, she married Motown producer Jeffrey Bowen. They finalized their divorce in 2016.
The other members of the Pointer Sisters continued racking up hit after hit through the mid-1980s with singles like "Jump (For My Love)," "Automatic," "I'm So Excited," "Fire" and "He's So Shy." They would go on to win Grammys in 1985 for "Jump" and "Automatic." In 2006, June Pointer, the youngest sister, died at age 52 following a battle with cancer.
Throughout their career, the Pointer Sisters became known for moving from genre to genre with ease. In a 2016 interview with The Fader, Ruth said they never wanted to be "pigeon-holed" into one category. "We grew up loving all types of music from classical to country, R&B and gospel," she said at the time. "We loved it all. People kept saying, "You gotta pick a category!" Why? Why do you have to do that? It wasn't something we felt we had to do."