Earlier this morning CNN reported that June Pointer has passed. June was the youngest of the Pointer Sisters, certainly one of the most influential vocal groups of the '70s and '80s and enjoyed a huge gay following. "I'm not gay, but I don't like labels, anyway. Why can't we just be a human race?" June said in a famous 1996 interview where she addressed rumors about her own sexuality.
The younger queers today may only remember the Pointer Sisters for 80s tracks like "I'm So Excited" or "Neutron Dance", but they began charting in the very early 70s with that fierce "Yes We Can Can." The act had several country singles, won an Grammy in that category, and, were also the first black female singers to appear at the Grand Ole Opry. Today their music would probably be classified as "crossover."
In recent years, June's substance abuse problems became headline fodder—apaprently, that was the reason behind her 2000 dismissal from the group. In 2005, she was arrested on possession charges. The family says June had been hospitalized since February with a non-specified cancer. She reportedly died with her family at her side at a Los Angeles hopsital. June Pointer was 52 years old.
An Interview with June Pointer (Blase DiStefano)
Pointer Sisters (Wikipedia)