Kool & the Gang co-founder Ronald “Khalis” Bell has passed away. Per Yahoo, his publicist said in a statement that he died in his home in the Virgin Islands yesterday (September 9).
As of right now, no cause of death has been revealed. Bell was 68 years old.
During his time in Kool & the Gang, Ronald Bell and his bandmates collaborated with many artists, including Jamiroquai, Lisa Stansfield, and Atomic Kitten.
According to Yahoo, the band also holds the record as the most sampled band of all time. They have been featured on songs by Jay-Z, Janet Jackson, Beastie Boys, Madonna, Cypress Hill, P. Diddy, and The Killers.
In 2018, Kool & the Gang was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame. Other awards include two Grammys, a BET Soul Train Lifetime Achievement Award, seven American Music Awards, and a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Ronald Bell has also worked as a producer independently for artists like the Fugees, Jimmy Cliff, House of Pain, Phillip Glass, and Rachid.
At the time of his death, Bell was working on a series of animated shorts about his life called Kool TV. He is survived by ten children, four siblings, and his wife, Tia Sinclair Bell.