George “Funky” Brown, drummer and founding member of Koll & The Gang, has died at the age of 74, TMZ reports.
The talented artist was the key drummer and and songwriter for the legendary funk band. Brown died from cancer in the comfort of his Los Angeles home Thursday, TMZ reported, citing sources with direct knowledge. He had been suffering from stage 4 lung cancer and spoke publicly about his diagnosis prior to his death.
— Daily Star Breaking News (@StarBreaksNews) November 17, 2023
“George Brown died November 16, 2023 in Los Angeles after a battle with cancer,” a representative for the band told TMZ. “Brown has co-written many of the band’s iconic songs, including ‘Ladies Night,’ ‘Too Hot,’ ‘Jungle Boogie,’ ‘Celebration,’ and ‘Cherish.'”
“When asked to describe his music, Brown always replied, ‘The sound of happiness,'” the rep continued.
Kool & The Gang posted an article based on an interview Brown gave four days before his reported passing. The interview centered around Brown’s candid discussion about his cancer diagnosis and his advice to fans on how best to identify and cope with the disease.
Brown reportedly went into remission and showed signs of progressive recovery, even hitting the road once more with the band. He played as part of the band’s tour before discovering the cancer had returned, according to TMZ.
Brown thrilled fans with his incredible talent over the course of his 59-year career.
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Kool & The Gang debuted their first album in 1969 and soared to superstardom in 1973 with their fourth record, “Wild And Peaceful.” That album contained some of their greatest hits of all time, including “Jungle Boogie” and “Hollywood Swinging.”
The group’s success continued to soar with the release of their albums, “Ladies Night,” “Celebrate,” and “Emergency.” The latter album was released in 1984 and sold 2 million copies in the United States alone. “Celebrate” soared to number one on the charts and continues to be a staple tune for major moments spanning across all ages and demographics.
Kool & The Gang has been honored with two Grammy awards, seven American Music awards, a Music Business Association Chairman’s award and a Soul Train Legend award, among a number of other accolades. The band also has their own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
The other founding members include Robert Bell, Ronald Bell, Dennis Thomas, Robert Mickens, Ricky West and Charles Smith. Robert Bell is the last surviving member of the group.(RELATED: Dana Carvey’s Son Found Dead In Locked Bathroom: REPORT)
Brown is survived by his wife, Hanh Brown, along with their five children, according to TMZ.