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Bonnie Pointer of the Pointer Sisters dead at 69

She was one of the founding members of the group and left in the mid-1970s to pursue a solo career.
Bonnie Pointer Portrait Session
Bonnie Pointer poses for a portrait in 1979 in Los Angeles.Harry Langdon / Getty Images

Bonnie Pointer, who rose to fame as a member of the Pointer Sisters, has died at age 69.

"It is with great sadness that I have to announce to the fans of the Pointer Sisters that my sister Bonnie died this morning," said Anita Pointer of her sister, Patricia, aka Bonnie. "Our family is devastated. On behalf of my siblings and I and the entire Pointer family, we ask for your prayers at this time."

Bonnie was one of the founding members of the group and left in the mid-1970s to pursue a solo career.

"Bonnie was my best friend and we talked every day," Anita said in a statement. "We never had a fight in our life. I already miss her and I will see her again one day."

The family's youngest sister, June, died in 2006. A few months ago, Bonnie and Anita released a tribute song for June, "Feels Like June." A spokesperson said it was Bonnie's final recording.

The sisters began singing in the West Oakland Church of God in Oakland, California, their father's church, more than 50 years ago. Bonnie, June and Anita former the Pointer Sisters in 1969. A fourth sister, Ruth, joined the group in 1972, before they released their debut album in 1973 and had their first hit with "Yes We Can Can."

Bonnie won a Grammy in 1974, along with Anita, in a country category for writing the crossover hit "Fairtytale." She left the group in 1977, shortly before the Pointer Sisters — now a trio — had their biggest run of hits in the late '70s and early '80s with songs like "Fire" and "Neutron Dance."

Her biggest song as a solo artist, "Heaven Must Have Sent You," made it to No. 11 in 1979. She recorded and released a total of four solo albums, the last of which was "Like a Picasso" in 2011.

The sisters reunited on occasions, such as their receiving a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1994. Pointer continued to perform as a solo artist into the 2000s.

She had a role as herself in the 2010 independent film "Road to Nowhere," directed by Monte Hellman.

Bonnie Pointer is survived by her brothers Aaron and Fritz and sisters Ruth and Anita Pointer.