Honoring Bonnie Pointer
Bonnie Pointer, a founding member of the Pointer Sisters, passed away on June 8 at the age of 69. Bonnie and her sisters grew up singing in the choir at their father's Oakland church. Bonnie and June Pointer formed The Pointers in 1969 which evolved into The Pointer Sisters when their older sister, Anita, joined the group. Bonnie was a singer and songwriter who embraced elements of soul, pop and jazz. Bonnie and Anita wrote the group's country hit, "Fairytale," in 1974, which crossed over to become a Top 20 pop hit and won the group their first Grammy for Best Country Vocal by a Duo or Group. Anita and Bonnie also were nominated for Best Country Song at the same ceremony. The group performed "Fairytale" at the Grand Ole Opry making them the first African-American vocal group to appear there. Three years later, Bonnie and Anita wrote "Bring Your Sweet Stuff Home To Me" with Stevie Wonder, and recorded it with him for The Pointer Sisters' album, Having A Party.
Bonnie Pointer left the group in 1977 to pursue a solo career. Her biggest successes were on the dance charts. When Bonnie signed with Motown Records in 1978, "Heaven Must Have Sent You" was among the tracks chosen for her first album there. The entire project was produced by Berry Gordy and Jeffrey Bowen whom she married in 1978, but later divorced. It became a major hit when released as the second single from her first album, Bonnie Pointer. The album featured Bonnie's version of another Motown classic, "When I'm Gone," as well as new material composed by Jeffrey Bowen and Donald Baldwin. Pointer released another album, If the Price Is Right, in 1984, but then largely stepped away from recording, except for Like a Picasso released in 2011. She also occasionally reunited with her sisters to perform.