Bonnie Pointer

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Bonnie Pointer
Pointer smiling
Pointer, 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.
Genres
Occupation(s)
  • Singer
  • actress
InstrumentsVocals
Years active1969–2020
Labels
Associated acts

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 Pointers 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]

Career[edit]

Bonnie and youngest sister June began singing together in their father's West Oakland Church of God in Oakland, California.[3] They formed 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. In December 1972, they recruited oldest sister Ruth and released their debut album as the Pointer Sisters in 1973. Their self-titled debut 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. 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 pop hit and won the group their first Grammy for Best Vocal by a Duo or Group, Country. 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. The remaining sisters continued scoring hits from the late-1970s to the mid-1980s and had a major breakthrough with their 1983 album Break Out. In 1978, Pointer signed with Motown and in the same year, she released "Heaven Must Have Sent You," which reached No. 11 on Billboard Hot 100 chart. Pointer released three solo albums, including two self-titled albums for Motown, before retiring from the studio.

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."[4]

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 Records producer Jeffrey Bowen. In July 2014, after 10 years of separation, Pointer filed for divorce which was finalized in 2016.[5] Pointer died from cardiac arrest on June 8, 2020 in Los Angeles, California, aged 69.[1] She had been suffering from cirrhosis of the liver for many years.[6]

Discography[edit]

Albums[edit]

Year Title Chart positions
US
[7]
US
R&B

[8]
CAN
AUS
[9]
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 - -

Singles[edit]

Year Title Chart positions
US
[10]
US
R&B

[11]
US
Dance

[12]
US
AC

[13]
CAN
UK
[14]
AUS
[9]
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" - - - - - - -

References[edit]

  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. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2007-06-29. Retrieved 2007-07-10.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  3. ^ "Bonnie Pointer of the Pointer Sisters dead at 69". TODAY.com. Retrieved 2020-06-09.
  4. ^ Christgau, Robert (1981). "Consumer Guide '70s: P". Christgau's Record Guide: Rock Albums of the Seventies. Robertchristgau.com. Ticknor & Fields. ISBN 089919026X. Retrieved March 10, 2019.
  5. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2018-03-27. Retrieved 2018-03-27.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  6. ^ "Bonnie Pointer Cause of Death".
  7. ^ "Bonnie Pointer: US". Billboard. Retrieved March 18, 2021. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  8. ^ "Bonnie Pointer: US R&B". Billboard. Retrieved March 18, 2021. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  9. ^ 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.
  10. ^ "Bonnie Pointer: US". Billboard. Retrieved March 18, 2021. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  11. ^ "Bonnie Pointer: US R&B". Billboard. Retrieved March 18, 2021. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  12. ^ "Bonnie Pointer: US Dance". Billboard. Retrieved March 18, 2021. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  13. ^ "Bonnie Pointer: US AC". Billboard. Retrieved March 18, 2021. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  14. ^ "Bonnie Pointer: UK". Official Charts Company. Retrieved March 18, 2021. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)

External links[edit]