Kool & the Gang founder Ronald Bell has died, aged 68

10 September 2020, 09:41

Ronald Bell
Ronald Bell. Picture: Getty

Kool & the Gang co-founder Ronald Bell has died at the age of 68, it has been confirmed.

Ronald Bell founded the legendary funk and soul band with his brother Robert 'Kool' Bell.

Kool & the Gang scored several big hits in the 1970s and 1980s, including the likes of 'Celebration', 'Cherish' and 'Ladies Night'.

They also received a Grammy in 1978 for their music in Saturday Night Fever, and saw a resurgence in popularity in 1994 after their song 'Jungle Boogie' was used in Pulp Fiction.

Bell's publicist confirmed that he passed away at his home in the US Virgin Islands, with his wife by his side. The cause of death was not revealed.

He was a self-taught saxophonist and singer, and founded the band in New Jersey in 1964 alongside Robert, as well as members Dennis Thomas, Robert Mickens, Charles Smith, George Brown and Ricky West.

The group received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2015.

Ronald Bell was Muslim, and was given the name Khalis Bayyan by Imam Warith Deen Mohammed. He married Tia Sinclair Bell, and had 10 children in total. He was also the father of singer Rachid 'Rasalus' Bell.

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