December 8, 2022


Art Is Experience

Kool & the Gang co-founder Dennis Thomas dead at age 70

NEW YORK – Dennis “Dee Tee” Thomas, a founding member of the extended-jogging soul-funk band Kool & the Gang regarded for these types of hits as “Celebration” and “Get Down On It,” has died. He was 70.

He died peacefully in his rest Saturday in New Jersey, wherever he was a resident of Montclair, in accordance to a assertion from his consultant.

Thomas was the alto sax player, flutist and percussionist. He served as grasp of ceremonies at the band’s shows. His last look with the team was July Fourth at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles.

Born Feb. nine, 1951, in Orlando, Florida, Thomas was regarded for his prologue on the band’s 1971 hit, “Who’s Gonna Acquire the Pounds.” Recognised for his hip clothing and hats, he was also the group’s wardrobe stylist. In the early days, he served as their “budget hawk,” carrying their earnings in a paper bag stuffed into the bell of his horn, the assertion said.

In 1964, 7 teenager close friends produced the group’s exceptional bland of jazz, soul and funk, at first contacting on their own the Jazziacs. They went by means of numerous iterations before settling on Kool & the Gang in 1969. The group’s other founders are brothers Ronald and Robert Bell, Spike Mickens, Ricky Westfield, George Brown and Charles Smith.


Ronald Bell died Sept. nine, 2020, at dwelling in the U.S. Virgin Islands at age 68.

The band has attained two Grammy Awards and 7 American Audio Awards. They were being honored in 2014 with a Soul Train Life span Achievement Award. Their audio is intensely sampled and highlighted on movie sound tracks, like those for “Rocky,” “Saturday Night Fever” and “Pulp Fiction.”

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

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