Ronald “Khalis” Bell, singer and co-founder of legendary R&B, soul, funk band Kool & the Gang, died at his home in the U.S. Virgin Islands on Wednesday morning, said his publicist Sanjay Murthy. Bell was 68 years old. His cause of death is unknown.
Bell founded Kool & the Gang in Jersey City in 1964 with his brother, Robert “Kool” Bell, and neighborhood friends Dennis “D.T.” Thomas, Robert “Spike” Mickens, Charles Smith, George Brown, and Ricky West. The band would go on to rise to prominence in the 1970s after the release of their fourth album in 1973, which featured top-ten hits “Jungle Boogie” and “Hollywood Swinging.” Kool & the Gang won seven American Music Awards, a Soul Train Legend Award, as well as two Grammys, and were nominated for Album of the Year in 1979 for their album Saturday Night Fever. Other classic Kool & the Gang hits include “Celebration” and “Ladies Night.”