Kool & the Gang co-founder Dennis Thomas lifeless at 70
Kool & the Gang co-founder Dennis Thomas died Saturday in New Jersey the place he was a longtime resident, his representatives introduced. He was 70.
A news launched famous the musician, who went professionally by the title “Dee Tee,” had “handed away peacefully in his sleep.”
No official explanation for dying has been disclosed.
The Florida native “was often called the quintessential cool cat within the group, liked for his hip garments and hats, and his laid-back demeanor,” the discharge famous.
“An enormous persona whereas additionally a particularly personal particular person, Dennis was the alto saxophone player, flutist, percussionist in addition to grasp of ceremonies on the band’s reveals.”
Well-known for hits equivalent to “Summer season Insanity,” “Celebration,” “Too Scorching,” “Women Evening,” “Get Down On it,” “Cherish,” “Recent” and “Jungle Boogie,” Kool & the Gang kicked off the 2021 season of the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles on July 4.
The live performance marked the reopening of an iconic venue that had been closed greater than a 12 months as a result of coronavirus pandemic.
It was additionally Thomas’ farewell look with the band.
Grammy-winning R&B group Kool & the Gang was fashioned in 1964 by seven teenage mates — Thomas, brothers Ronald Bell and Robert “Kool” Bell, Spike Mickens, Ricky Westfield, George Brown, and Charles Smith.
The band earned a Soul Prepare Lifetime Achievement Award and a star on the Hollywood Stroll of Fame, and its music has been featured on the soundtracks of movie classics equivalent to Rocky, Saturday Evening Fever and Pulp Fiction.
He’s predeceased by his mom, Elizabeth Lee Thomas; his sister, Darlene Thomas; and his daughters, Michelle Thomas and Tracy Jackson. Michelle Thomas was an actress on The Cosby Present, Household Issues and The Younger and the Stressed. She died in 1998.
Thomas is survived by his spouse, Phynjuar Saunders Thomas; daughter Tuesday Rankin; sons David Thomas and Devin Thomas; Aunt Mary “Duggie” Jones; sisters Doris Mai McClary and Elizabeth Thomas Ross; brother, Invoice Mcleary; and a number of other nieces, nephews and grandchildren.