Kool & the Gang co-founder Ronald “Khalis” Bell died on Wednesday, September 9, at the age of 68. The cause of death was not disclosed.
Bell, the singer, songwriter and saxophonist, co-wrote some of the band’s biggest hits, including “Ladies’ Night,” “Jungle Boogie” and “Celebration.”
Ronald Bell and his older brother Robert “Kool” Bell teamed up with Jersey City friends Dennis “D.T.” Thomas, Robert “Spike” Mickens, Charles Smith, George Brown and Ricky West in 1964 to start a band.
The group used many names, including Jazziacs, The New Dimensions, The Soul Town Band, and Kool & the Flames, before agreeing on Kool & the Gang in 1969.
The R&B legends won a Grammy award for album of the year with the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack, five American Music Awards and the BET Soul Train Lifetime Achievement Award in 2014.