Kool & The Gang Star Dennis Thomas Dies, Aged 70

Dennis “Dee Tee” Thomas, a founding member of the long-running soul-funk band Kool & The Gang – identified for such hits as Celebration and Get Down On It – has died on the age of 70.

He died peacefully in his sleep on Saturday in New Jersey, the place he was a resident of Montclair, in response to an announcement from his consultant.

Thomas was the group’s alto sax participant, flutist and percussionist, and served as grasp of ceremonies on the band’s reveals.

His final look with the group was on 4 July on the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles. 

Joe Gill by way of AP

Dennis Thomas pictured throughout a Kool & The Gang present in 2008

Born February 9, 1951, in Orlando, Florida, Thomas was identified for his prologue on the band’s 1971 hit, Who’s Gonna Take The Weight.

Recognized for his hip garments and hats, he was additionally the group’s wardrobe stylist. Within the early days, he served as their funds hawk, carrying their earnings in a paper bag stuffed into the bell of his horn, the assertion mentioned.

In 1964, seven teenage mates created the group’s distinctive bland of jazz, soul and funk, at first calling themselves the Jazziacs.

They went via a number of iterations earlier than selecting Kool & The Gang in 1969. The group’s different founders are brothers Ronald and Robert Bell, and Spike Mickens, Ricky Westfield, George Brown and Charles Smith.

Kool & The Gang have earned two Grammy Awards and 7 American Music Awards. They had been honoured in 2014 with a Soul Prepare Lifetime Achievement Award.

Gilbert Carrasquillo by way of Getty Photographs

Kool & The Gang stars George Brown, Robert “Kool” Bell, Dennis Thomas and Ronald Bell in 2019

In addition they have seven UK high 10 singles to their title, final charting in 2003 with the Atomic Kitten collaboration Girls’ Evening.

Kool & The Gang’s music is closely sampled and featured on movie soundtracks, together with these for Rocky, Saturday Evening Fever and Pulp Fiction.

Amongst these Thomas is survived by are his spouse, Phynjuar Saunders Thomas, daughter Tuesday Rankin and sons David Thomas and Devin Thomas.

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