Ronald Bell – one of the founding members of soul-funk group Kool & the Gang – has died at the age of 68.
He started the group with his brother Robert “Kool” Bell.
The band’s songs were huge hits in the 1970s and 1980s, and included Celebration, Ladies’ Night, and Jungle Boogie.
Their music has also featured in several films, including Saturday Night Fever for which they received a Grammy in 1978 and Pulp Fiction.
Bell died at his home in the U.S. Virgin Islands, with his wife by his side, his reporter said. The cause of death was not given.
Self-taught saxophonist and singer, he founded the group in New Jersey in 1964 with Robert, as well as Dennis Thomas, Robert Mickens, Charles Smith, George Brown and Ricky West.
The group is best known for their fusion of jazz with funk, disco, R&B and pop.
- BBC Music: Kool & The Gang
“My favorite song is Celebration…” Ronald Bell told Reuters news agency in 2008.
“I had no idea, you know, I had no idea, thinking it was going to be a hit. I had no idea.
“But after all these years, there are times at the end of the show, where I see all these people singing a song, and after an hour and a half you ask them to jump up and down and they still jump up. below. It’s a bit overwhelming for me. ”
The group received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2015 for their contribution to the entertainment world.