Khalis from the epic band Kool & the Gang died at his home in Virginia. He will be remembered for hits like “Jungle Boogie,” “Hollywood Swinging” and “Celebration.”
Funk, R&B, and pop legend Ronald “Khalis” Bell was one of the co-founders of the supergroup Kool & the Gang, he suddenly passed away early on Wednesday at his home in the United States at 68 years old. The cause of death is yet to be confirmed and the family will keep the services in private.
Back in 1964, Khalis and his older brother Robert “Kool” Bell got together with New Jersey’s neighborhood friends Spike Mickens, Dennis Thomas, Ricky Westfield, George Brown, and Charles Smith to give birth to an epic blend of jazz, soul, and funk. Bell was a composer, producer, arranger, and amazing performer, he was one of the most important driving forces behind an outstanding group of the past five decades.
Kool & the Gang wasn’t their first name, at first they used to be called Jazziacs and went through several changes: The New Dimensions, The Soul Town Band, Kool & the Flames. They are among the most sampled bands of all time, sharing places with Beastie Boys, Jay-Z, Madonna, Janet Jackson, Cypress Hill, P. Diddy and The Killers, and more. They won two Grammy Awards along with 25 top 10 R&B hits, nine top 10 pop hits, and 31 gold and platinum albums.
They were commonly known for their music featured on the soundtracks of films like Rocky, Saturday Night Fever, and Pulp Fiction.