The Pointer Sisters: A Musical Legacy

An image of the pointer sisters
The Pointer Sisters, hailing from Oakland, California, achieved mainstream success during the ’70s and ’80s. Their chart-topping hits included “Automatic,” “Jump (For My Love),” and “Slow Hand.” Their genre-blending music ranged from R&B and soul to pop, jazz, and funk/PHOTO COURTESY : Facebook

The Pointer Sisters, an iconic American girl group, left an indelible mark on the music industry during the 1970s and 1980s.

Their diverse repertoire spanned genres such as R&B, pop, jazz, electronic music, blues, soul, funk, dance, and even country.

Let’s delve into their fascinating journey, exploring their origins, hits, and personal lives.

How Many Pointer Sisters Are Still Alive?

As of now, only two of the original sisters remain alive.

Ruth Pointer continues to perform with the group, while Anita Pointer, although alive, has retired due to health issues.

Ruth now tours alongside her daughter, Issa, and her granddaughter, Sadako.

Sadly, June Pointer, another original member, battled drug addiction and passed away from cancer in 2006.

An image of the pointer sisters
The Pointer Sisters, hailing from Oakland, California, achieved mainstream success during the ’70s and ’80s/PHOTO COURTESY: Facebook

Was There a Fourth Pointer Sister?

Indeed, there were four sisters: June, Anita, Bonnie, and Ruth.

However, throughout most of their career (from 1973 to 2004), only three sisters officially performed together.

The trio consisted of Ruth, Anita, and Bonnie, creating their distinctive sound and leaving an indelible mark on music history.

Why Are They Called Pointer Sisters?

The name “Pointer Sisters” originated when sisters June and Bonnie began performing in clubs in 1969 as “Pointers, a Pair.”

Later, sister Anita joined them, expanding the lineup to a trio.

From then on, they adopted the name “The Pointer Sisters,” which would become synonymous with their vibrant and genre-blending music.

Gospel Roots and Musical Exploration

Raised in West Oakland, the Pointer sisters and brothers were immersed in gospel music by their parents, Reverend Elton and Sarah Pointer.

However, their curiosity extended beyond gospel.

Rock ‘n’ roll and blues, considered “the devil’s music” by their parents, eventually lured them away.

Despite this, their gospel upbringing influenced their harmonies and vocal prowess.

Twins and Musical Continuity

In 1993, at the age of 47, Ruth Pointer gave birth to twins: a boy named Conor and a girl named Ali.

These twins represent a continuation of the musical legacy, as Ruth’s daughter, Issa Pointer, and granddaughter.

Sadako Pointer, have also performed as members of the Pointer Sisters.


Their journey from gospel roots to chart-topping hits showcases their resilience, creativity, and enduring impact.

Their harmonies continue to resonate, reminding us that music transcends boundaries and generations.

The legacy of the Pointer Sisters lives on, inspiring new audiences and celebrating the joy of music.


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