According to reports, Ronald Bell, co-founder of the legendary group Kool & the Gang, died at his home in the U.S. Virgin Islands on Wednesday. Bell’s publicist Sujata Murthy confirmed the unfortunate news to the New York Post. Murthy says Bell transitioned with his wife Tia Sinclair by his side.
Kool & the Gang grew out of a jazz ensemble called the Jazziacs and was formed in the 1960s. By the 1970s, the group expanded to include genres ranging from funk, R&B, soul, and pop. The group boasts an impressive catalog with a host of classics such as “Cherish,” “Summer Madness,” “Get Down on It,” “Jungle Boogie,” and their most notable hit, “Celebration.”
Bell was awarded two Grammys, the Soul Train Legend Award, and seven American Music Awards over the course of his career. Kool & the Gang was also inducted into the New Jersey Hall of Fame as well as the Songwriters Hall of Fame.