Kool & the Gang founding member Ronald ‘Khalis’ Bell, dead at 68
Kool & the Gang founding member Ronald “Khalis” Bell has died at age 68 in his Virgin Islands home. With over 55 years of history and continuing, the Jersey City-originated group has left a legacy through their extensive exploration of R&B, soul, funk, disco, jazz, and more. A prominent musician, composer, singer, and saxophonist, Bell formed the acclaimed band with his brother Robert “Kool” Bell and five friends in 1964.
During his storied tenure, Bell produced several of the Kool & the Gang’s hit songs, including “Celebration,” “Cherish,” “Jungle Boogie,” and more. The group received their Hollywood Walk of Fame star in 2015. Bell was also inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame alongside his brother, members George Brown and James “J.T.” Taylor in 2018. Still active, Kool & the Gang delivered their 24th and latest studio album, Kool for the Holidays in 2013.
Bell’s cause of death has not yet been made public. He leaves behind his wife, Tia Sinclair Bell, and 10 children.