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Tags: kool and the gang | ronald bell | death

Kool & the Gang Singer Dead at 68

bell wears a blue suit and black shirt, sunglasses, and a baseball cap
Ronald Bell, founding member from the funk band Kool and the Gang, answers questions during an interview March 1, 2018 in New York. (Don Emmert/Getty Images)

By    |   Thursday, 10 September 2020 11:01 AM

Kool & the Gang singer and co-founder Ronald "Khalis" Bell has died at age 68. The vocalist, who co-wrote many of the funk band's hit singles, passed away on Wednesday morning at his home in the U.S. Virgin Islands. His wife, Tia Sinclair Bell, was by his side, the group's publicist said in a statement to USA Today. No cause of death has been revealed.

Kool & the Gang was first founded in 1964 in New Jersey. The lineup comprised of Bell and his brother, Robert "Kool" Bell, as well as neighborhood friends Robert "Spike" Mickens, Dennis "D.T." Thomas, Ricky West, George Brown, and Charles Smith. The band performed under various names before its members finally rested on the name Kool & the Gang.

In 1969, they released their self-titled debut album, which paved the way for the band’s success. Their hit singles "Celebration," "Cherish," "Jungle Boogie," "Summer Madness," and "Open Sesame" earned them two Grammy Awards, seven American Music Awards, 25 Top Ten R&B hits, nine Top Ten Pop hits, and 31 gold and platinum albums, according to the group's official biography.

In recent years, Kool & the Gang performed alongside top acts including Kid Rock, Dave Matthews Band, Elton John, and The Roots, and has been honored with a BET Soul Train Lifetime Achievement Award and a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Bell had been working on several collaborations as well as his own project, "Kool Baby Brotha Band." He was also planning to release a series of shorts that documented the band's childhood and career, according to USA Today.

He is survived by 10 children: Kahdijah, Rasheed, Nadirah, Liza, Maryam, Aminah, Jennah, Khalis, Asia, and James.

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TheWire
Kool & the Gang singer and co-founder Ronald "Khalis" Bell has died at age 68. The vocalist, who co-wrote many of the funk band's hit singles, passed away on Wednesday morning at his home in the U.S. Virgin Islands. His wife, Tia Sinclair Bell, was by his side, the group's...
kool and the gang, ronald bell, death
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2020-01-10
Thursday, 10 September 2020 11:01 AM
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