Ronnie Wilson, the founding member of the beloved Gap Band has died at 73, reports TMZ.
Linda Boulware-Wilson his wife says Wilson died at his home in Tulsa, Oklahoma after suffering a stroke last week. Reflecting on his many gifts she called him a “genius with creating, producing, and playing the flugelhorn, trumpet, keyboards and singing music.”
Founded in the early ‘70s in Tulsa, Oklahoma The Gap Band was composed of Ronnie and his brothers Charlie and Robert Wilson. They named themselves after the Greenwood, Archer, and Pine streets in the Black Tulsa neighborhood that was targeted in the Tulsa massacre in 1921. Classics like “You Dropped Bomb On Me” and “Burn Rubber On Me” are a few of their biggest hits. In total, the brothers released 15 albums with 1974’s Magician Holiday as their first-ever compilation. In 1999, their final album Y2K: Funkin Til 2000 Comz was released.
The Gap Band’s sound has been repurposed and can be heard in music to this day. Samples over the years have come from acts including Snoop Dogg, Mary J. Blige, Nas, and Ice Cube. Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars’ “Uptown Funk” sampled the group’s track “I Don’t Believe You Want to Get Up and Dance (Oops!)
Charlie Wilson is the only remaining member of The Gap Band, Robert Wilson died in 2010 after suffering a heart attack.
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