the-pointer-sisters_web.jpgFORT LAUDERDALE — As we celebrate Black History Month, we can't leave out the musical pioneers who have influenced and changed the dynamic of music throughout history.

Music of the 1950s brought us the tail end of the Big Band era and the birth of rock & roll, jazz and blues with artists such as Harry Belafonte and Dinah Washington.  In the 1960s, we experienced Motown magic synonymous with the profound and exciting elements of those times.
In the 1970s and ‘80s, there was an outbreak of disco fever.

Many artists of this disco era had pizzazz and energy, but none compared to the sauciness and sexy spirit of the Grammy Award-winning siblings, The Pointer Sisters.

The ladies will bless South Florida this week with a performance at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts on Sunday, Feb. 21.

The journey to stardom for these starlets began in a humble church in the outskirts of Oakland, California.

During a recent interview with the South Florida Times, Anita Pointer recalled how growing up with very religious parents helped form the discipline the sisters needed as they made their way in the music industry.

“I think it's a good thing we had parents who were totally dedicated to the church, because when you have six kids…you got to have some kind of plan…and church was that plan,” she said.

The beauty of having success and being able to share it with family is one of the perks of being in a music group like The Pointer Sisters. During their growth in the industry, they became the first black female group ever to perform at the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, Tenn.

In addition to that, the sisters became the first contemporary act to perform at the San Francisco Opera House, and released a live recording of the performance. In 1975, the album titled Fairytale won the sisters their first Grammy Award. They are one of few groups who have crossed into many genres of music, including country, R&B, gospel, jazz, soul and pop.

Although sometimes it can be difficult to work with family, it was this unbreakable bond that led to much of their success.

“It's not easy but we stuck together because we are family. We had a purpose and we knew what we wanted to do and we loved doing it,” Anita Pointer said.

With the unexpected passing of Anita Pointer’s only daughter, Jada, in 2003 after a battle with pancreatic cancer, and later the passing of one of the sisters, June Pointer in 2006, The Pointer Sisters’ now focus on keeping their spirits alive, and remembering the beauty and purpose of why they sing.

“The lesson is to just love the ones you love as much as you can love them…Don’t take anything in life for granted,” Anita Pointer said.

The group currently consists of Anita Pointer, Ruth Pointer and Ruth’s daughter, Issa Pointer.

The ladies are looking forward to performing their best hits including, “I’m So Excited,” “How Long (Betcha Got a Chick on the Side),”  “Yes We Can Can,” “Free Me from My Freedom/Tie Me to a Tree (Handcuff Me),” Bruce Springsteen’s “Fire,” “He's So Shy,” “Slow Hand,” “Automatic” and “Jump (For My Love).”

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Photo: The Pointer Sisters

IF YOU GO

What: The Pointer Sisters in concert.

Where: The Riverwalk Arts & Entertainment District at the The Au-Rene Theater at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts, 201 Southwest 5th Avenue Fort Lauderdale.

When: February 21 at 7 p.m.

Cost: Tickets are $25, $35, $45 and $55.

Contact: Tickets to all performances are available through the Broward Center’s box office at 954-462-0222 or online at www.browardcenter.org.