Drummer Dino Danelli Of The Rascals Dead At 78

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Brent Foster Contributor
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Drummer Dino Danelli, a founding member of the Rascals, passed away at the age of 78, according to Rolling Stone.

Rascals archivist Joe Russo confirmed Danelli’s death in a Facebook post and noted that the drummer moved into a rehab facility earlier this year amid a decline in health that included “coronary artery disease and congestive heart failure.”

Danelli hailed from Jersey City, New Jersey and initially performed jazz and R&B music before shifting to rock and roll, according to Rolling Stone. He formed the Young Rascals with singer/keyboardist Felix Cavaliere, guitarist Gene Cornish, and vocalist Eddie Brigati in 1965.

The band attained their first Number One with a 1966 rendition of “Good Lovin” by Rudy Clark and Arthur Resnick. The Rascals released their first RIAA gold-certified album in 1966 and attained another Number One in 1967 with “Groovin,” an original track, according to Rolling Stone.

The band changed their name to the Rascals in 1968 and attained additional success with songs including “A Beautiful Morning” and “People Got to Be Free,” according to Rolling Stone. The band split up in 1971. (RELATED: Elton John Shares Details About Britney Spears’ Emotional Return To The Music Industry)

The Rascals received an induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1997 and, with the exclusion of Brigati, performed in a 1988 tour, according to Rolling Stone. All four band members reunited again for The Rascals: Once Upon a Dream, a 2013 concert production before a final split.

Danelli remained busy with various projects in his later years, according to Russo. His death follows the November passing of ‘Alabama’ guitarist Jeff Cook. Iconic rock musician Jerry Lee Lewis passed away in October.

Cornish wrote in a Facebook post that “Dino never cared about being a ‘rock star’ it was always about the music and art for him.”