Ronald “Khalis” Bell, singer, producer and co-founder of Kool & The Gang, has passed away at 68. Bell died on Wednesday morning while at home in the U.S. Virgin Islands. The news was confirmed by Bell’s publicist in AP News. The cause of death has not been released.
Dabbling in genres like funk, soul, jazz and disco, Kool & The Gang became a beloved group, particularly in the 1970s and ’80s, which was the peak of their commercial success. They were inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame and won a BET Lifetime Achievement Award in 2014.
Bell was a self-taught musician, and he often played bass, saxophone and synthesizers with the group. He wrote popular Kool & The Gang songs like “Celebration” and “Jungle Boogie.” His contributions to music will continue to live on.