The musician’s sister and bandmate, Anita Pointer, confirmed the news in a statement to ET.
“It is with great sadness that I have to announce to the fans of The Pointer Sisters that my sister, Bonnie, died this morning,” Anita said. “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 my best friend and we talked every day,” Anita continued. “We never had a fight in our life. I already miss her and I will see her again one day.”
In a statement to ET, BET President Scott Mills said, "We are profoundly saddened by the loss of Grammy-winning R&B pioneer and founding member of the legendary group The Pointer Sisters, Bonnie Pointer. She was a trailblazer, whose songs were not only chart-toppers but serve as anthems for many generations. Her untimely passing comes not long before we have the honor to pay tribute to Bonnie and The Pointer Sisters during this Wednesday night’s episode of American Soul. We thank Bonnie for her tremendous contributions to music and American culture and we will cherish her memory forever"
Bonnie, Anita and their sisters formed The Pointer Sisters more than 50 years ago, after growing up singing in their father’s Oakland, California, church. The band recorded five albums, won a Grammy for Best Country Duo or Group in 1975 and were the first African American group to perform at Nashville’s iconic Grand Ole Opry.
After leaving the band, Bonnie pursued a solo career with Motown, releasing hits like 1978’s “Heaven Must Have Sent You.”
She and Anita got together to pen “Feels Like June,” in honor of late sister and bandmate June Porter, in 2019, marking Bonnie's final music recording.
See more on influential African American musicians below.