After founding the Pointer Sisters with her siblings, Bonnie Pointer struck out on her own before the band enjoyed their biggest hits.
The singer, who has died aged 69 following a cardiac arrest, had an award-winning career throughout the 70s with her sisters Anita, June and Ruth which critics hail as the group’s finest work.
Though the band are best known for their hits in the 1980s like I’m So Excited and Jump (For My Love), their earlier tunes are favoured by many devotees.
Her sister Anita led tributes, telling news outlet TMZ that she had died on Monday.
She said: “It is with great sadness that I have to announce to the fans of The Pointer Sisters that my sister Bonnie died this morning.
“Our family is devastated, on behalf of my siblings and I and the entire Pointer family, we ask for your prayers at this time.
“Bonnie was my best friend and we talked every day, we never had a fight in our life, I already miss her and I will see her again one day.”
Fellow disco diva Gloria Gaynor added: “So sorry to hear of the passing of Bonnie Pointer of the Pointer Sisters.
“I pray peace for her family and that soon sweet memories of her will bring smiles to their faces before bringing tears to their eyes.”
Oscar-winning actress Viola Davis added: “RIP Bonnie Pointer. Your contribution to music was extraordinary. You and your sisters brought me much joy.”
It was Bonnie Pointer who formed the band, initially as a duo with youngest sister June, before elder siblings Anita and Ruth joined.
Bonnie and her siblings were trained to sing in their father’s church but they also developed a love of rock’n’roll and its king Elvis Presley.
They worked as backing vocalists for an eclectic range of San Francisco-based artists until deciding to form their own group.
The Pointer Sisters became popular in the 1970s and won the first of their three Grammy Awards for the song Fairytale in 1975.
After leaving to pursue her own solo career, Bonnie released the hit disco cover of the song Heaven Must Have Sent You.
Whilst her four-album solo career never saw her reach the same heights that her sisters did together, she enjoyed a lengthy career as a popular club and casino live performer.
Earlier this year, Anita and Bonnie Pointer released a single in memory of their sister June, who died in 2006.
Their sister Ruth is the only sibling still performing in the Pointer Sisters, joined by her daughter and granddaughter.