10 September 2020

Kool & The Gang co-founder Ronald Bell dies, aged 68

Ronald Bell, the co-founder and singer of pop group Kool & The Gang, has died at the age of 68.

He died at his home in the US Virgin Islands on Wednesday morning, his publicist Sujata Murthy confirmed. The cause of death has not been released. 

Kool & The Gang began with Bell and his brother Robert in 1964. The soul and funk group won a Grammy in 1978 for their music in Saturday Night Fever and Pulp Fiction. 

Bell composed some of the group’s most successful hits including ‘Celebration,’ ‘Cherish,’ ‘Jungle Boogie’ and ‘Summer Madness’.

They were also used in several films including Rocky and Baby Boy.

Kool & The Gang were awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2015 and three years later Bell was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame.

Fans have paid tribute online, with one writing: "Kool & the Gang co-founder Ronald Bell passed away today at age 68. He wrote and composed classics like “Celebration,” "Cherish" and “Jungle Boogie." Rest, Sir. And thank you."

Another fan said: “If you've ever danced to Get Down On It, Jungle Boogie, Celebration, Ladies Night, Summer Madness, Fresh... raise a glass to the funky soul legend Ronald Bell, founding member of Kool and The Gang. Thanks for the fabulous floor-fillers. #RIP #RonaldBell."

One user wrote: “Rest in Beats to Khalis Bayyan (aka Ronald Bell) founding member of #KoolAndTheGang & brother of leader Robert Kool Bell.”

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