Flowers were placed on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on Tuesday for singer Anita Pointer of the famous Pointer Sisters, and for drummer Fred White of Earth Wind & Fire at each group’s respective star.
Anita Pointer, 74, was one of the founding members of the popular soul quartet who burst onto the stage with their smash hit “Yes We Can Can” from 1974.
“While we are deeply saddened by the loss of Anita, we are comforted in knowing she is now with her daughter, Jada, and her sisters June and Bonnie and at peace,” her family said in a statement. “She was the one that kept all of us close and together for so long. Her love of our family will live on in each of us…Heaven is a more loving and beautiful place with Anita there.”
Pointer’s only daughter, Jada, died in 2003. Her sisters Bonnie and June died in 2020 and 2006 respectively.
Ruth, Anita, Bonnie and June, born the daughters of a minister, grew up singing in his Oakland church. The quartet developed a unique fusion of funk, soul and 1940s-style jazz (and fashion), along with scat and pop in their act. They often dressed in a retro style that resembled the Andrews Sisters.
The group delved into country music with Anita and Bonnie co-writing the hit “Fairytale” about a crumbling relationship. The song earned them the spotlight at the Grand Ole Opry, as they would win their first Grammy for best country-vocal performance by a group.
Bonnie Pointer left for a solo career in 1977. The remaining sisters — who had effectively disbanded when she left — decided to regroup and continued into the 1980s with the hits “He’s So Shy;” “Jump (For My Love);” and “Neutron Dance.” Other hits included “Slow Hand;” “I’m So Excited;” “Automatic” and a cover of Bruce Springsteen’s “Fire.”
In 1987 The Pointer Sisters had their own prime-time special on NBC called “Up All Night” featuring Whoopie Goldberg, Bruce Willis and the McGuire Sisters.
Fred White, 67, was the drummer for the multi award-winning group Earth Wind & Fire.
“Our family is saddened today with the loss of an amazing and talented family member, our beloved brother Frederick Eugene ‘Freddie’ White,” said older brother Verdine White, lead guitarist with the group. Another older brother, Maurice, the founder of the group often serving as producer and lead vocalist, died in 2016 at age 74 following a decades-long battle with Parkinson’s Disease.
Verdine White called his younger brother a “child prodigy” and identified him as an “original” founding member of Earth, Wind & Fire “with gold records at the young age of 16 years old.”
“But more than that,” White continued,” at home and beyond he was the wonder bro that was always entertaining and delightfully mischievous!”
Among Earth Wind & Fire’s biggest hits are “Devotion;” “Shining Star;” “That’s the Way of the World;” “Sing A Song;” “September;” “Let’s Groove;” “Reasons;” and a remake of the Beatles’ “Got to Get You Into My Life.”