Bonnie Pointer of The Pointer Sisters Dead at 69, Singer's Sister Confirms: 'I Already Miss Her'

"Our family is devastated," Bonnie Pointer's sister, Anita, tells PEOPLE in a statement

Bonnie Pointer
The late Bonnie Pointer. Photo: Leon Bennett/Getty

Bonnie Pointer, founding member of the '70s and '80s R&B group The Pointer Sisters, has died. She was 69.

The Grammy-winning artist died Monday morning, her sister and former bandmate, Anita, told PEOPLE in a statement. Her cause of death was not specified.

"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," she added. "We never had a fight in our life. I already miss her, and I will see her again one day."

More than 50 years ago, Bonnie and her sisters began singing in their father's church in Oakland, California. In 1969, Bonnie and her younger sister June — who died of cancer in 2006 at the age of 52 — started performing in clubs as "Pointers, a Pair."

The duo's older sisters — Anita, now 72, and Ruth, 74 — eventually joined them, and they renamed themselves the Pointer Sisters. In 1973, they released their self-titled debut album and the song "Yes We Can Can" became their first hit.

Pointer Sisters
The Pointer Sisters. Michael Ochs Archives/Getty

Bonnie recorded five albums with her sisters and co-wrote the Pointer Sisters country hit "Fairytale" with Anita. They performed the song live at the Grand Ole Opry in 1974, making them the first African American vocal group to ever perform at the famed venue. A year later, they won their first Grammy for best country duo or group for the track.

The Pointer Sisters continued to earn commercial success for hits such as "I'm So Excited," "Fire" and "Slow Hand." In the mid-'70s, they became a trio when Bonnie decided to embark on a solo career in Motown. Her biggest hit was 1978's "Heaven Must Have Sent You."

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Bonnie's last recording was a duet with Anita titled "Feels Like June," which they released earlier this year and wrote in tribute to their late sister.

"The Pointer Sisters would never have happened had it not been for Bonnie," Anita said. "The Pointer Sisters spent two decades at the top of the charts and performing to sold-out audiences around the world. The Pointer Sisters in 2019 celebrated 50 yrs of performing, Bonnie is pre-deceased by her sister June Pointer and is survived by her brothers Aaron and Fritz and sisters Ruth and Anita Pointer."

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