Ronald “Khalis” Bell, co-founder of Cole and Gang, has died at the age of 686.
According to Universal Music, Ronald died on the morning of September 9 at his home in the US Virgin Islands.
It was a sudden death.
The cause of death has not yet been revealed.
Cool and the Gang, a Grammy Award-winning musical group, was formed in 1940 in Jersey City, New Jersey.
The team included Ronald, his brother Robert “Cool” Bell, Dennis “DT” Thomas, Robert “Spike” McKinsey, Charles Smith, George Brown and Ricky West.
During the band’s five-decade long career, they sold more than 70 million albums worldwide and achieved 12 top ten singles in the United States.
In addition to performing with the group, Ronald co-wrote and produced several hit songs, including Celebration, Cherry, Jungle Boogie, Hollywood Swing, Summer Madness, Open Sesame, Ladies Night, Joanna, and Fresh.
Ronald was born on November 1, 1951 in Youngtown, Ohio to Amina Bayan and Robert “Bobby” Bell.
His father was a professional boxer and gold gloves amateur boxing winner.
Ronald and his brother came into contact with jazz music at a very young age due to their father’s friendship with Miles Davis and Thelonius monk.
After moving to New Jersey, Lincoln High School brothers and five of their friends formed the band Jaziax.
The band changed their names several times, including the Soul Town Band, New Dimensions, and Cool & Flames before joining Cool & the Gang in 1969.
In 1969, the team signed to D-Lite Records and released their first self-titled album – which was quite helpful in 1940.
The band then released two live albums and two studio albums before commercial progress with the fourth studio album Wild and Peaceful in 1974.
Memorable songs on the hit album included Funky Staff, Jungle Boogie and Hollywood Swing.
Throughout their full time as a band, Cool & the Gang achieved 14 top 40 singles in the United States between 1980 and 1986.
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In addition to Cool and the Gang, Ronald Fuji worked as a producer and arranger for artists such as Fuji, Jimmy Cliff, House of Pain, Philip Glass and Rachid.
At the time of his death, the talented musician was working on a solo project called Cool Baby Brotha Band, known on TV basis as Cool TV and had several other collaborative shorts series.
Ronald is survived by his 10 children, four siblings and wife, Tia Sinclair Bell.