Wednesday, November 3, 2021

Gap Band Co-Founder Ronnie Wilson Dead at 73

Ronnie Wilson, a co-founder of one of the seminal funk groups of the 1970s and 80s — the Gap Band — along with his brothers Charlie and Robert, is dead at the age of 73.

The performer, who was preceded by his brother Robert in death, who died of a heart attack in 2010 at the age of 53 following the group's official retirement after 36 years, suffered a stroke last week and his wife Linda Boulware-Wilson told TMZ that he died at his Tulsa, Oklahoma, home Tuesday morning.

"The love of my life was called home this morning, at 10:01am. Please continue to pray for The Wilson, Boulware, and Collins family, while we mourn his passing," Boulware-Wilson wrote in a Facebook post confirming the death. 

"Ronnie Wilson was a genius with creating, producing, and playing the flugelhorn, trumpet, keyboards, and singing music, from childhood to his early seventies. He will be truly missed!!!"

The Wilson brothers founded the band in the 1960s and named it after streets in their hometown (Greenwood, Archer, and Pine) in remembrance of the Tulsa race massacre. After years of steady work and some mild successes, the GAP band exploded on the scene in the late 70s and 80s with hits like "Burn Rubber on Me (Why You Wanna Hurt Me),"  "Early in the Morning," and their signature hit "You Dropped a Bomb on Me."

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