Ronnie Wilson, Founder of The Gap Band, Dies at 73

Wilson’s wife, Linda Boulware-Wilson says he suffered from a stroke last week and that he died at his home in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

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.

Robyn Mowatt

Robyn Mowatt is a Staff Writer at Okayplayer where she covers culture, music, and fashion. You can see what's on her mind on Twitter at @robyn_mowatt.

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Robyn Mowatt

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