Kool & the Gang co-founder Ronald “Khalis” Bell, who was credited as a author and producer on the group’s largest hits — amongst them: 1980’s “Celebration” and 1985’s “Cherish” — died Wednesday Sept. 9 at his dwelling in the U.S. Virgin Islands, his spouse and agent Tia Sinclair Bell stated in an announcement on Sept. 10. He was 68. The reason for dying has not been revealed.
Bell was a driving power behind Kool & the Gang, composing, arranging, producing and performing with the group which noticed success in a number of a long time over 50 years. Along with the aforementioned earworms of our time, different hits by the band included “Get Down On It,” “Joanna” and “Recent.”
In 1964, Bell and his brother Robert “Kool” fashioned a band with Dennis “D.T.” Thomas, Robert “Spike” Mickens, Charles Smith, George Brown, and Ricky West. They went by way of a number of iterations as the Jazziacs, The New Dimensions, The Soul City Band, Kool & the Flames earlier than Kool & the Gang was launched mixing jazz, soul and funk sounds.
Kool & the Gang carried out repeatedly longer than any R&B group in historical past. The band, who received two Grammy Awards, additionally appeared alongside Child Rock, Dave Matthews Band, Elton John and The Roots, and carried out on a 50-city tour with rock legends Van Halen.
Their music is featured on the soundtracks to “Rocky,” “Saturday Evening Fever” and “Pulp Fiction.” “Celebration” can also be regarded amongst the hottest marriage ceremony songs of all-time.
Along with retaining tempo with the street, Bell devoted a lot of his life to songwriting and producing for Kool & the Gang in addition to creating new acts. Amongst them: The Fugees, referred to as Tranzlator Crew after they labored with Bell on their debut album, “Blunted On Actuality.”
In 2014, Kool & the Gang was honored with a BET Soul Prepare Lifetime Achievement Award. In October 2015, in the city they sing about in one in every of their earliest hits, “Hollywood Swinging,” Kool & the Gang was honored with a star on the Hollywood Stroll of Fame. The band launched music as not too long ago as 2016. In 2018, they have been inducted into the Songwriters Corridor of Fame.
At the time of his dying, Bell was in the midst of a collection of collaborations together with his solo endeavor, “Kool Child Brotha Band.” He was additionally engaged on “Kool TV,” a collection of animated shorts about the group’s profession.
Bell is survived by 10 kids, Kahdijah, Rasheed, Nadirah, Liza, Maryam, Aminah, Jennah, Khalis, Asia and James; grandchildren; brothers Robert “Kool” Bell, Wahid Bayyan, Amir Bayyan and sister Sharifah Bayyan; and his spouse Tia Sinclair Bell.