Ronald Bell died at the age of 68 on Wednesday. The co-founder of the 1970s and 1980s pop group Kool & the Gang died at his home in US Virginia Islands. His publicist said that Bell's wife was by his side at the time of his death.
Bell founded the popular band with his brother Robert "Kool" Bell in the year 1964. They are known to be one of the most influential soul and funk bands of all time. They were one of the most popular bands of the era with hits including Celebration, Ladies' Night and Get Down On It.
The Bell brothers' music had featured in several movies including Saturday Night Fever, for which they were also awarded the prestigious Grammy in the year 1978 and also received Pulp Fiction. Bell was a self-taught singer and saxophonist. He started the band in New Jersey with his brother Robert and five other schoolfriends namely - Dennis Thomas, Charles Smith, Robert Mickens, Ricky West and George Brown.
The band made their debut with three singles from their self-titled album hitting the pop charts, including the instrumental track Kool & The Gang, which had left people crazy with their brassy and powerful sound. The band's mainstream breakthrough came with their Wild and Peaceful album in the year 1973. Their Lead single Funky Stuff hit the top 40 list in the US, including Jungle Boogie and Hollywood Swinging, which hit the top 10.
Ronald Bell Upcoming Album, Project Kool TV
Ronald Bell was last working on a solo project called Kool Baby Brotha Band and also busy creating a series of animated shorts based on his band's childhood and career called Kool TV. Last year, during a Billboard interview, Ronald Bell expressed that he is grateful to have had a career in music.
The singer is survived by his wife Tia Sinclair Bell and 10 children, three other siblings and his brother cum band partner Robert Bell. The reason for his death is yet unknown. His family will hold a private funeral service.