The Gap Band founder Ronnie Wilson dead at 73

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Ronnie Wilson (right), the founding subordinate   of the iconic Oklahoma funk and R&B radical  the Gap Band, died Tuesday astatine  73. Ronnie Wilson (right), the founding subordinate of the iconic Oklahoma funk and R&B radical the Gap Band, died Tuesday astatine 73. Getty Images

Ronnie Wilson, the founding subordinate of the iconic Oklahoma funk and R&B group the Gap Band, died Tuesday astatine 73.

The musician’s decease was confirmed by his wife Linda Boulware-Wilson, who told TMZ that helium passed distant peacefully astatine 10:01 a.m. astatine his location successful Tulsa. She was reportedly holding the singer’s manus arsenic helium drew his past breath.

Wilson’s widow says that her precocious hubby had suffered a changeable past week, which enactment the prima into a semi-coma that ne'er recovered from. He had reportedly experienced respective strokes implicit the years.

Linda described Ronnie successful a Facebook post arsenic “a genius with creating, producing, and playing the flugelhorn, trumpet, keyboards, and singing music, from puerility to his aboriginal seventies.”

Ronnie (right) was a philharmonic  polyglot, doing everything from vocals to playing the fugelhorn.Ronnie (right) was a philharmonic polyglot, doing everything from vocals to playing the fugelhorn.Getty Images

Born successful Tulsa, the funk-pioneering polyglot had created the Gap Band successful the precocious ’60s on with his brothers Charlie and Robert. The group’s sanction is an acronym for Greenwood, Archer, and Pine—three streets successful a achromatic vicinity of their hometown of Tulsa, which were ransacked by a White mob during the 1921 Tulsa contention massacre, Pitchfork reported.

The sibling R&B squad skyrocketed to fame during the 70s and 80s, opening for large bands similar the Rolling Stones, and lending enactment to the likes of Willie Nelson and Leon Russell, per their site.

(L-R) Ronnie Wilson, Charlie Wilson and Robert Wilson of the funk radical  "Gap Band" execute  connected  Soul Train circa 1975. (L-R) Ronnie Wilson, Charlie Wilson and Robert Wilson of the funk radical “Gap Band” execute connected Soul Train circa 1975. Michael Ochs Archives

During that time, the Gap Band created the classical hits “You Dropped a Bomb connected Me,” “Party Train” and “Outstanding.” The second has reportedly been sampled 150 times by artists, including Madonna, Tina Turner, Will Smith, Usher, George Michael, and adjacent Laker’s Center Shaquille O’Neal, per the band’s website.

Along with playing successful the Gap Band, Wilson besides has besides produced aggregate works, including Goodie’s 1982 album “Call Me Goodie.” 

His member Robert passed distant successful 2010 astatine 53.