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Ruth Pointer

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Ruth Pointer
Pointer performing with The Pointer Sisters at the Komen Center Pink Tie Ball in 2006
Pointer performing with The Pointer Sisters at the Komen Center Pink Tie Ball in 2006
Background information
Birth nameRuth Esther Pointer
Born (1946-03-19) March 19, 1946 (age 78)
Oakland, California, U.S.
  • Singer
  • songwriter
Years active1966–present
Member ofThe Pointer Sisters

Ruth Esther Pointer (born March 19, 1946)[1] is an American singer best known as the eldest and last surviving original member of the family vocal group the Pointer Sisters.


Joining her sisters in 1972, the Pointer Sisters released their first album in 1973. The group eventually found fame with songs like "Yes We Can Can" (1973), their country crossover hit, "Fairytale" (1974) and "How Long (Betcha Got a Chick on the Side)" before Bonnie's exit in 1977. Continuing as a trio, the group found their biggest success covering tunes of rock, pop and new wave with singles such as "Fire" (1978), "He's So Shy" (1980), and "Slow Hand" (1981).

The group found its biggest success with the release of the Break Out album in 1983 which featured hits such as "Automatic", "Jump (For My Love)", a re-released version of "I'm So Excited", "Neutron Dance", and "Baby Come And Get It". It's notable for featuring Ruth's lead vocals on "Automatic" and "Neutron Dance", which hit the top ten of the Billboard Hot 100 Chart and led to the group winning two Grammy Awards. In 1988, Pointer provided the singing voice of the character Rita the Disney film Oliver & Company, where she sang the song "Streets of Gold" as well as a reprise of the song "Why Should I Worry" with fellow cast member Billy Joel. They were joined by Ruth's daughter Issa in the 1990s. The group was given a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1994.

In October 2021, Pointer competed in season six of The Masked Singer as "Cupcake".[2] Pointer revealed upon her unmasking that she was supposed to perform on the show as part of a duo with her sister Anita in a duplicated and recolored Cupcake costume. Anita was dealing with an illness, forcing Ruth to perform alone.[2]

With the deaths of Bonnie and Anita Pointer in 2020 and 2022 respectively, Ruth Pointer is the last surviving founding member of The Pointer Sisters.

Personal life[edit]

Pointer has been married five times and has five children. The eldest are a daughter Faun (born 1965) and a son Malik (born 1966).[3] Malik is a singer.[4] Her daughter Issa Pointer (born 1978), is from a marriage with former Temptations member Dennis Edwards. They married on December 21, 1980 in Las Vegas, and divorced in 1983.[5] In 1984, Pointer married noted bassist Don Boyette, divorcing in 1988.

Pointer married Michael Sayles in 1990 and, at the age of 47 in 1993, she gave birth to twins, a boy named Conor and a girl named Ali.[6] Both Issa Pointer and Ruth's granddaughter Sadako Pointer (born 1984) have performed as members of the Pointer Sisters.[7][8] Pointer resides in Hopedale, Massachusetts with her husband.[9]



  1. ^ "the Pointer Sisters". Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved July 25, 2014.
  2. ^ a b Jensen, Erin. "'Masked Singer': Cupcake is iced out; wildcard Caterpillar gives 'front-runner performance'". USA TODAY.
  3. ^ "Pointer Sistres". People. November 24, 1980. Retrieved July 25, 2014.
  4. ^ Viewmorepics.myspace.com Archived copy at WebCite (June 12, 2009).
  5. ^ Pointer, Ruth (2016). Still So Excited!: My Life as a Pointer Sister. Triumph Books.
  6. ^ "Singer Ruth Pointer gives birth to twins". Orlando Sentinel. July 21, 1993. Retrieved July 25, 2014.
  7. ^ "Biography". The Pointer Sisters official website. Retrieved July 25, 2014.
  8. ^ "Bonnie Pointer arrested". BBC News. November 21, 2011. Retrieved July 25, 2014.
  9. ^ "Ruth Pointer Biography". The Pointer Sisters official website. Retrieved January 15, 2024.

External links[edit]