Anita Pointer of the Pointer Sisters Dead at 74

PHILADELPHIA - A star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame followed. Anita, June, and Ruth were the only original members to make the list. She died of cancer at age 74. Her family surrounded her at the time of her passing. Her brothers Aaron and Fritz and granddaughter Roxie were also by her side.

The Pointer Sisters became the first African-American women's vocal group to perform on the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville. They also wrote the first major hit for an R&B artist, Allen Toussaint's "Yes We Can Can." Their first album, The Pointer Sisters, reached number 13 on the Billboard 200.

In addition to singing, Anita played alt saxophone for the McRae High School band. She married and had a daughter, Jada, who died of cancer in 2003. Later she teamed up with her sisters, June and Ruth, to form a musical duo.

The Pointer Sisters' first big hit single, a cover of Bruce Springsteen's "Fire," topped the U.S. pop charts in 1978. Despite its success, the Pointer Sisters almost disbanded. However, their recording career continued until 1993.

Another first for the Pointer Sisters was their involvement in the closing ceremony of the 1996 Atlanta Olympics. As part of the ad-hoc choir, the trio sang "The Fairytale" by Elvis Presley, which won a Grammy.

Other highlights include their first film debut in 1976 and their appearance on the soundtrack of the Beverly Hills Cop 2 movie. The group also broke many records. During the '70s, the Pointer Sisters was the first black female group to play the Grand Ole Opry.

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