Bonnie Pointer, founding member of '70s vocal group the Pointer Sisters, has died at 69. TMZ reports that her sister (and former groupmate) Anita Pointer confirmed Bonnie's passing, saying, "It is with great sadness that I have to announce to the fans of The Pointer Sisters that my sister, Bonnie died this morning. 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 and June Pointer, who grew up singing gospel music in West Oakland, started their eponymous group in the late '60s, first performing as Pointers, A Pair. By 1972, both Anita and Ruth Pointer had also joined the fold, bringing the sibling group to a quartet. With a unique sound that blended jazz, soul, funk, rock and country, the group signed to Blue Thumb Records and released their self-titled debut album in 1973.