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Bonnie Pointer

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Bonnie Pointer
Pointer smiling
Pointer in 1974
Background information
Birth namePatricia Eva Pointer
Born(1950-07-11)July 11, 1950
Oakland, California, U.S.
DiedJune 8, 2020(2020-06-08) (aged 69)
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Years active1969–2020

Patricia Eva "Bonnie" Pointer (July 11, 1950 – June 8, 2020)[1] was an American singer, best known for having been a member of the vocal group, the Pointer Sisters. Pointer scored several moderate solo hits after leaving the Pointer Sisters in 1977, including a disco cover of the Elgins' "Heaven Must Have Sent You" which became a U.S. top 20 pop hit on September 1, 1979.[2]


Bonnie and youngest sister June began singing together in their father's West Oakland Church of God in Oakland, California.[3] They were the first two of the sisters to pursue a professional career, the Pointers (otherwise known as the Pair) in 1969. After Anita joined the duo that same year, they changed their name to the Pointer Sisters and recorded several singles for Atlantic Records between 1971 and 1972.[4] In December 1972, after several singles had been released, oldest sister Ruth wanted to join the group and afterwards, the four released their debut album as the Pointer Sisters in 1973.[4] Their self-titled debut album yielded the hit "Yes We Can Can". Between 1973 and 1977, the Pointers donned 1940s fashions and sang in a style reminiscent of the Andrews Sisters.[4] Their music included R&B, funk, rock and roll, gospel, country and soul.

Anita and Bonnie wrote the group's crossover country hit, "Fairytale", in 1974, which also became a Top 20 US pop hit and won the group their first Grammy for Best Vocal by a Duo or Group, Country.[4] Anita and Bonnie also were nominated for Best Country Song at the same ceremony. In 1977, Bonnie left the group to begin a solo career.[4] The remaining sisters continued performing as a trio, The Pointer Sisters, scoring hits from the late-1970s to the mid-1980s and had a major breakthrough with their 1983 album Break Out.[4] In 1978, Bonnie Pointer signed with Motown Records and the same year, the label released "Heaven Must Have Sent You", which reached No. 11 on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart.[4] Bonnie Pointer had a moderately successful solo career, though it never reached the heights of the Pointer Sisters, the group she left for a solo career. Pointer released three solo albums, two self-titled albums for Motown and one album on Private I Records, before retiring from the studio.[4]

Reviewing her 1978 self-titled LP, Robert Christgau wrote in Christgau's Record Guide: Rock Albums of the Seventies (1981): "Thanks to (co-producer) Berry Gordy and the miracle of modern multitracking, Bonnie makes like the Marvelettes of your dreams for an entire side. People didn't conceive vocals this intricate and funky back in Motown's prime, much less overdub them single-larynxed, and the result is remakes that outdo the originals—by Brenda Holloway and the Elgins—and originals that stand alongside. The other side comprises originals of more diminutive stature co-written by (co-producer) Jeffrey Bowen."[5]

Pointer appeared on Soul Train on March 2, 1985 (Season 14, Episode 20). She still continued to perform, and reunited with her sisters on two occasions: when the group received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1994, and during a Las Vegas performance in 1996 singing "Jump (for My Love)". At the beginning of 2008, she embarked on a European tour, and was working on her autobiography. Pointer performed at the Trump Taj Mahal in Atlantic City on Saturday, October 25, 2008. Pointer also starred in Monte Hellman's 2010 romantic thriller Road to Nowhere.

Personal life and death[edit]

In 1978, Pointer married Motown producer Jeffrey Bowen. They separated in 2004, filed for divorce in 2014, and officially divorced in 2016.[6]

Due to ten years of alcoholic liver disease and cirrhosis, Pointer died from a cardiac arrest at her home in Los Angeles on June 8, 2020, at the age of 69.[1][7]



Year Title Chart positions

1978 Bonnie Pointer (Red) 96 34 96
1979 Bonnie Pointer (Purple) 63 40 92 40
1984 If the Price Is Right
2011 Like a Picasso 8
"—" denotes releases that did not chart.


Year Title Chart positions



1978 "Free Me from My Freedom" 58 10 26
"Tie Me to a Tree"
1979 "Heaven Must Have Sent You" 11 52 8 43 32 31
"Deep Inside My Soul"
"I Can't Help Myself (Sugar Pie Honey Bunch)" 40 42 4 43 52
1984 "Your Touch" 35 64 79
"Premonition" 84
1985 "The Beast in Me" 87 31
2010 "Strangest Day"
"—" denotes releases that did not chart or were not released in that territory.


  1. ^ a b Barsanti, Sam (June 8, 2020). "R.I.P. Bonnie Pointer of The Pointer Sisters". The A.V. Club. Retrieved June 8, 2020.
  2. ^ "Bonnie Pointer". Archived from the original on June 29, 2007. Retrieved July 10, 2007.
  3. ^ "Bonnie Pointer of the Pointer Sisters dead at 69". TODAY.com. June 8, 2020. Retrieved June 9, 2020.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h Colin Larkin, ed. (1993). The Guinness Who's Who of Soul Music (First ed.). Guinness Publishing. pp. 200/1. ISBN 0-85112-733-9.
  5. ^ Christgau, Robert (1981). "Consumer Guide '70s: P". Christgau's Record Guide: Rock Albums of the Seventies. Ticknor & Fields. ISBN 0-89919-026-X. Retrieved March 10, 2019.
  6. ^ "Pointer Sister Finalizes Divorce from Husband of 38 Years – Divorce Court". Archived from the original on March 27, 2018. Retrieved March 27, 2018.
  7. ^ "Bonnie Pointer of The Pointer Sisters Died from Cardiac Arrest". Tmz.com. Retrieved July 9, 2021.
  8. ^ "Bonnie Pointer: US". Billboard. Retrieved March 18, 2021.
  9. ^ "Bonnie Pointer: US R&B". Billboard. Retrieved March 18, 2021.
  10. ^ a b Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992 (illustrated ed.). St Ives, N.S.W.: Australian Chart Book. p. 235. ISBN 0-646-11917-6.
  11. ^ "Bonnie Pointer: US". Billboard. Retrieved March 18, 2021.
  12. ^ "Bonnie Pointer: US R&B". Billboard. Retrieved March 18, 2021.
  13. ^ "Bonnie Pointer: US Dance". Billboard. Retrieved March 18, 2021.
  14. ^ "Bonnie Pointer: US AC". Billboard. Retrieved March 18, 2021.
  15. ^ "Bonnie Pointer: UK". Official Charts Company. Retrieved March 18, 2021.

External links[edit]