BlackAmericaWeb.com, By paige boyd, Posted November 20th 2023
We are sad to learn that George “Funky” Brown, drummer for legendary group Kool & The Gang, has passed away at the age of 74.
TMZ exclusively reports that the musician died at his Los Angeles home on Thursday night (Nov. 16) following a battle with stage 4 cancer.
Brown was diagnosed with lung cancer a few years earlier and was in remission for a while. Brown returned to touring with the group for some time before the cancer returned earlier this year.
George was a founding member of the group, coming together in 1964 and releasing their debut album in 1969.
However, the band didn’t get their big breakthrough until the release of 1973’s Wild And Peaceful, which features some of their biggest records, including “Jungle Boogie” and “Hollywood Swinging.”
Brown actually co-wrote “Jungle Boogie,” along with some of the band’s most iconic hits of the late 70s and 80s. Among those hits are “Ladies Night,” “Too Hot,” “Celebration,” and “Cherish.” According to the band’s rep, when asked to describe his music, Brown always replied, “The sound of happiness.”
Kool & The Gang would snag 2 Grammys, 7 American Music Awards, and a Soul Train Legend Award throughout their illustrious career. They also earned a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, cementing their legacy as one of soul music’s most iconic bands.
Brown is survived by his wife, Hanh Brown, and his 5 children. He also leaves behind bassist Robert “Kool” Bell as the band’s last surviving founding member.
A spokesperson says that fans are encourage to make a donation in Brown’s honor to the Lung Cancer Society of America.