Will the Pointer Sisters Ever Get Inducted Into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame?

pointer sisters rock hall fame

The Pointer Sisters: Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Facts
Eligible Since: 1999
Finalist: Never
Grammy Awards/Nominations: 3/10
Career Top 40 Hits: 15
Essential Tracks: Send Him Back (1972), Yes We Can Can (1973), Fairytale (1974), Fire (1978), Slow Hand (1981), I’m So Excited (1982), Automatic (1984), Jump (For My Love) (1984)
Essential Albums: The Pointer Sisters (1973), Steppin’ (1975), Energy (1978), Black & White (1981), Breakout (1983), Contact (1985)

The Pointer Sisters made their mark in several genres, including R&B, pop, dance, jazz, and even country and what later became known as yacht rock, but they have yet to be inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.

The dynamic and versatile group racked up 27 hits on the Billboard Hot 100 from 1973 through 1987. However, despite their success, the sisters have not yet received serious consideration from the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Nominating Committee.

Will the Pointer Sisters earn Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction someday? Let’s go over their career achievements and make a prediction.

The Pointer Sisters’ Rock Hall Credentials

Throughout their career, the Pointer Sisters displayed an ability to crossover into numerous musical styles. Sisters Anita, Bonnie and June Pointer began performing in 1969, with their sister Ruth joining them in 1972 before the release of their self-titled debut.

The Oakland natives rose to fame with the 1973 hit “Yes We Can Can,” which recalled the traditional Andrews Sisters sound with its sing-songy hook and strong harmonies, yet also added a funky element that made the tune modern.

Their second album featured jazz and R&B, but also country, on the track “Fairytale,” which became a surprise hit on the country chart. The Pointers became the first Black group invited to perform at the Grand Ole Opry, and won a Grammy for Best Country Performance by a Duo or Group.

Bonnie left the group in 1977, but the Pointers continued as a trio to showcase their incredible vocal harmonies and energetic performances. They soared to #2 with a sultry cover of Bruce Springsteen’s “Fire” that remains a classic. “Slow Hand” had a similar vibe and also got to #2, while “He’s So Shy,” a bouncy pop tune that is now part of the yacht rock cannon, reached #3.

The Pointers are already inducted into the Vocal Group Hall of Fame, but not everyone is aware that they were songwriters as well. They penned some of their biggest hits, including “I’m So Excited,” “How Long (Betcha’ Got a Chick on the Side),” and “Fairytale,” which Elvis Presley loved and later recorded.

It was 1984 that the Pointers launched themselves into the stratosphere. Many regard 1984 as the greatest year in pop music history, with Michael Jackson, Madonna, Prince, Bruce Springsteen, Tina Turner, Lionel Richie, and many others at their commercial peaks.

In one of the most competitive years in history, the Pointer Sisters dominated the charts, scoring four massive hits. “Automatic,” “Jump (For My Love),” “I’m So Excited,” and “Neutron Dance” all reached the Top 10.

As a result of that incredible year, the sisters won two American Music Awards, won Grammys for both “Jump” and “Automatic,” and took part in the all-star project “We Are the World.”

This critic was always blown away by “Automatic,” with Ruth singing lead with her impossibly low voice. That’s one of many Pointers classics that still earns airplay on ’80s stations.

Billboard named the Pointers the #4 “girl group” of all-time, behind only the Supremes, TLC, and Destiny’s Child, and ahead of Rock and Roll Hall of Famers the Go-Go’s.

The Pointers won a total of 3 Grammys and 3 AMAs, to go with five gold records, one platinum record, and one multi-platinum record.

While never an outspoken group, the Pointers have been given credit for empowering female musicians due to the fact that they refused to be pigeonholed into any one genre. And President Obama’s use of “Yes We Can Can” in his 2008 campaign highlighted that song’s inspirational message.

The Case Against the Pointer Sisters

The Pointer Sisters have left their mark on the world of music, but there are several factors that may explain why they have yet to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

It could be that the Pointer Sisters’ genre-defying style works against them in terms of Hall of Fame recognition. Some voters may feel they don’t fit neatly into the “rock and roll” label.

Additionally, the Pointer Sisters’ peak years in the 1970s and 1980s makes them a more distant memory for younger members of the selection committee.

And finally, while the Rock Hall inducted a huge number of Motown-era soul groups, the hall’s track record on R&B after the ’60s is suspect. The Spinners didn’t earn induction until 2023. Lionel Richie had to wait for induction until 2022, and his group the Commodores still hasn’t been recognized. Patti Labelle, Barry White, Kool & the Gang, and Diana Ross (as a solo act) still haven’t been inducted.

There’s a large backlog of ’70s soul acts, so the Pointer Sisters may not be at the top of that list. It’s very possible that the Hall’s nominating committee would nominate Diana Ross and Kool & the Gang before the Pointers.

The Verdict: Will the Pointer Sisters Ever Get Inducted Into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame?

Ultimately, the Pointer Sisters should earn Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction. The question is how much longer it might take.

June passed away in 2006, and Bonnie and Anita both sadly died in the past few years, leaving Ruth as the last original Pointer Sister. She still tours as the Pointer Sisters with her daughter Issa and granddaughter Sadako.

It’s always frustrating when the Rock Hall ignores a group until its members are gone. Hopefully, they’ll see fit to induct the sisters while Ruth is still with us.

I think Kool & the Gang may be next in line in terms of ’70s/’80s soul-pop acts, but the Pointers should be right behind. They should earn induction within the next 10 years.

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame: The Pointer Sisters
Odds of Getting Inducted Next Year: 10%
Odds of Getting Inducted in the Next Five Years: 35%
Odds of Getting Inducted Eventually: 60%

Do you think the Pointer Sisters will be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame someday? Leave a comment and let us know!

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Last Updated on February 19, 2024

3 thoughts on “Will the Pointer Sisters Ever Get Inducted Into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame?”

  1. I don’t know why they haven’t been inducted into The Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame yet?! Especially after all these years because seriously if you hear their music ? Look at the pop groups of today! They got their ideas pretty much from The Pointer Sisters! And I’m referring about the women of today! I grew up with their music and all because of my big sister 👍🏻

    Reply
  2. With such a versatile array of hits in many genres and their success and importance to the music of the 80’s, the Pointer Sisters deserve induction. Pop, dance, r&b, gospel and country – that is multifaceted in the music world

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  3. It’s sad that Ruth is the only one left…I hope the Pointer Sisters get inducted soon! They totally deserve it. I can’t remember 80’s music when I was growing up, without thinking of them.

    Reply

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