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June Pointer 4/2006

june pointerApril 11, 2006 – June Pointer (the Pointer Sisters) was born on November 30th 1953. Born the youngest of six children to minister parents Reverend Elton and Sarah Pointer, June shared a love of singing with her sisters. In 1969, she and sister Bonnie founded The Pointers – A Pair. The duo sang at numerous clubs, then became a trio later that year when sister Anita quit her job as a secretary to join them. The group officially changed its name to The Pointer Sisters. The trio signed a record deal with Atlantic Records and released a few singles, none of which made a substantial impact on the music charts. In 1972, sister Ruth joined the group, making it a quartet. The sisters then signed with Blue Thumb Records, and their career began to take off.

They released their self-titled debut album in ’73, and found fame with hit singles such as “Yes We Can Can”, “Fairytale”, and the R&B hits, “How Long (Betcha Got a Chick on the Side)” and “You Gotta Believe” before Bonnie left the group for a solo career in 1977. June briefly left the group in 1976 due to personal struggles, but she and the remaining sisters continued on as a trio and found huge success, hitting the Top 10 with a cover of Bruce Springsteen’s “Fire” in 1978, followed by “He’s So Shy”, and “Slow Hand”. Their 1983’s Break Out album, produced hits “Automatic”; “Jump (for My Love)”. Other hits from follow up albums included “Dare Me” “Freedom” and “Goldmine”. June is notable for being the lead singer of “He’s So Shy”, “Jump (For My Love)”, “Baby Come And Get It” and “Dare Me” among others.

Jointly written and composed by The Pointer Sisters in collaboration with Trevor Lawrence, it was originally released in 1982 (reaching #30 on the U.S. singles chart) and saw a remixed re-release in 1984 (reaching #9 on the U.S. singles chart) Billboard named the song #23 on their list of 100 Greatest Girl Group Songs of All Time.

The group eventually would receive a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1994. During the later 1980s, she launched a solo career, scoring hits with “Ready For Some Action” (1983) and 1989’s “Tight On Time (I’ll Fit U In)”. Together with Bruce Willis she scored a top 5 pop single in 1987 with a cover of the Staples Singers’ “Respect Yourself”.

Struggling with cocaine addiction for much of her career, June was ousted from the Pointer Sisters in 2004. Ruth’s daughter filled in for June during stage performances as the Pointers reportedly waited for her to become drug-free. On April 22, 2004, June was charged with felony cocaine possession and misdemeanor possession of a smoking device. She was ordered to a rehabilitation facility.

June suffered a stroke on February 27, 2006. While hospitalized, she was diagnosed with cancer, which had metastasized in her breast, colon, liver and bones. She died at UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles, California on April 11, 2006 at the age of 52. A family statement said June died “in the arms of her sisters, Ruth and Anita, and her brothers, Aaron and Fritz, by her side. Although her sister, Bonnie, was unable to be present, she was with her in spirit.”

She was 52 years old.

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