LOS ANGELES -- Ronald “Khalis” Bell, a co-founder, singer and producer of the group Kool & the Gang, has died. He was 68.
Bell died at his home in the U.S. Virgin Islands Wednesday morning with his wife by his side, publicist Sujata Murthy said. The cause of death has not been released.
Kool & the Gang grew from jazz roots in the 1960s to become one of the major groups of the 1970s, blending jazz, funk, R&B and pop. After a brief downturn, the group enjoyed a return to stardom in the ’80s.
Bell started the group with his brother Robert “Kool” Bell along with neighborhood friends Dennis “D.T.” Thomas, Robert “Spike” Mickens, Charles Smith, George Brown and Ricky West.