Anita Pointer, 74, died peacefully at home with family around, Saturday evening, after battling cancer, her publicist Roger Neal announced.
“She was the one that kept all of us close and together for so long,” her family said in a statement. “Her love of our family will live on in each of us. Heaven is a more loving, beautiful place with Anita there.”
Pointer and her three sisters, June, Bonnie and Ruth, comprised the Grammy-winning Pointer Sisters. The four sisters grew up singing in the Oakland, California, church where their father was a minister, according to a Billboard report.
Pointer explained the love of country music came naturally to them because that was almost all they heard while spending summers with Arkansas relatives, a Variety report noted.
“I only remember listening to one Arkansas radio station,” she said in a Variety interview. “All they played was country music: Hank Williams’ ‘Your Cheatin’ Heart,’ Tex Ritter’s ‘Do Not Forsake Me Oh My Darlin” and Willie Nelson’s ‘Funny How Time Slips Away.’” She said the rare times she heard black artists perform was when she snuck out to local juke joints and pressed her ears against the door.