It’s worth remembering that the Pointer Sisters, whose youngest member, June (pictured), died Tuesday at 52, were more than just Eddie Murphy soundtrack fodder, that their range and influence were widespread. At the dawn of their career, in the 1970s, they won their first Grammy in the Country category and were the first black female singing group to play at the Grand Ole Opry. By their mid-1980s heyday, when they had reinvented themselves as a mainstream dance/R&B act, June was singing the lead vocal on some of their biggest hits, including ”Happiness” and ”Jump (For My Love).” They’ve been cited by present-day acts as far afield as Jamiroquai and Le Tigre (whose cover of ”I’m So Excited” can be found streaming at Stereogum.)
The best online tribute comes from blogger Lil Mike, who offers a thorough history of the group with lots of photos and MP3s. My favorite discovery there: the Pointers’ country-fied cover of Sly and the Family Stone’s soul chestnut ”Everybody Is a Star,” which will rain down gently on your ears like a blessing.