By Khadejah Cox and Princyana Hudson
Despite having top-20 hits from 1973 all the way to 2017 and being ranked in Billboard magazine's most successful 100 artists, the most important thing for Ruth Pointer of the Pointer Sisters today is health and living her best life.
Pointer, 73, is now the only original group member still performing with the group. Sister Anita, 52, died in 2006 and Anita , retired from the road when she was diagnosed with cancer. Ruth now performs with her daughter, Issa, and granddaughter, Sadako.
In a recent interview, Pointer opened up about issues including her past drug addiction, unhealthy relationships and how she maintains a healthy lifestyle. She was interviewed in her hotel room before a fall performance at an Inova Health System gala dinner.
When Ruth told us why she wanted to turn it all around, she stated that it wasn't just for herself.
“The thing that really turned me around was watching my children,” she said. “They were following in my footsteps with the drugs and it was breaking my heart to come home and see them that way.”
During this time, drugs were everywhere, so there was no getting around it. Quitting took a lot for Ruth while her abusive relationship was going on with her first husband, the father of her first two children. She says she started to carry a gun around when she left the relationship out of fear.
Today, Ruth has had many learning experiences – and she’s still learning. She had tried medical marijuana for arthritis pain in her knee and realized that it was simply not for her. Whenever she consumed marijuana, she felt as though she was not like herself and she didn't like the feeling of the emotional changes. She also realized that she spent so much time in recovery from cocaine – 35 years – that the smoking made it feel like that was all thrown down the drain. She also started drinking wine again.
Now Ruth is more focused on how she can continue her health and maintain the same willpower with drugs. As of March 31, she has been sober – again – for five months.
“I just like feeling like me.”
Cox and Hudson are fellows in the Urban Health Media Project. Cox plans to attend the American Drama and Music Academy in New York City in fall 2019 and Hudson is a rising senior at Richard Wright School for Journalism and Media Arts in Washington, D.C.