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Last Updated: Wednesday, 12 April 2006, 21:34 GMT 22:34 UK
Pointer Sisters singer dies at 52
(L-R) Ruth, June and Anita Pointer in 1990
June Pointer (R) had been in hospital since February
June Pointer, the youngest of the US group Pointer Sisters - known for hits such as I'm So Excited, Fire and Slow Hand - has died of cancer, aged 52.

Two sisters, Ruth and Anita, and two brothers, Aaron and Fritz, were at her side at the hospital in Los Angeles.

Her sister Bonnie was unable to be present but was "with her in spirit", the family said in a statement.

The group, prominent in the 1970s and 1980s, won three Grammy Awards and had a hit covered by Elvis Presley.

The sisters learned to sing in a church choir in West Oakland, California, where their parents were ministers.

Bonnie and June Pointer formed a singing duo and began performing in clubs around the San Francisco Bay area.

Anita and Ruth Pointer later joined the group, which sang backing vocals for artists such as Taj Mahal, Boz Scaggs and Elvin Bishop.

Elvis cover

Their self-titled debut album was released in 1973, and the song Yes We Can Can became their first hit. Their follow-up album was That's A Plenty.

They won a Grammy Award in 1974 for best country vocal performance by a group for the song Fairytale, which was later covered by Elvis Presley.

Bonnie Pointer left the group in 1977 for a solo career, and the remaining Pointer sisters recorded several more albums, including 1984's Break Out, which won two Grammys for Automatic and Jump (for My Love).

June Pointer recorded two solo albums, and later left the trio. Anita and Ruth still perform under the group's name. Ruth's daughter, Issa Pointer, is the trio's newest member.

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