R&B, soul, and funk music fans were left in mourning last week after iconic American musician George "Funky" Brown died.
According to the Daily Caller, Brown passed away on Thursday in Long Beach, California at the age of 74. While the official cause of Brown's death has yet to be revealed, it is known that he battled with lung cancer.
The Daily Caller noted that Brown is best known for performing as a drummer in Kool & The Gang, a band that he helped to found 59 years ago in Jersey City, New Jersey.
The group consisted of brothers Ronald "Khalis" and Robert "Kool" Bell, as well as Charles Smith, Dennis "D.T." Thomas, Ricky West and Robert "Spike" Mickens.
Originally known as the Jazziacs, the band went through several name changes before finally settling on Kool & The Gang in 1969.
Together, the band members managed to develop a unique sound which incorporated elements of jazz, funk, soul, rock, and pop music.
The Songwriters Hall of Fame's website credits Brown with being one of the main songwriters behind such hits as "Celebration," "Jungle Boogie," and "Ladies Night."
The Daily Caller quoted a statement released by Brown's family which read, "We lost our beloved husband and father, Kool & The Gang founding member George Brown last night.
"He passed away peacefully at Long Beach Memorial Hospital surrounded by family," the statement explained, adding, "His incredible talent and presence will be greatly missed and never forgotten."
Tributes to Brown quickly appeared on the social media platform previously known as Twitter, including the streaming service TV One.
TV One is saddened to share that George "Funky" Brown, founding member and drummer of Kool & The Gang, has passed away at age 74 after a battle with cancer. Our thoughts and prayers are with his loved ones. pic.twitter.com/MVgfIR9Iil
— TV One (@tvonetv) November 17, 2023
Music publicist Eric Alper spoke up as well, calling Brown a "legendary drummer" who created "infectious beats fueled timeless classics."
Sad to hear about the passing of George Brown, the legendary drummer and co-founder of Kool & the Gang. His infectious beats fueled timeless classics like "Celebration," "Ladies Night," and "Jungle Boogie," and leaves behind a legacy that will forever groove in our hearts. pic.twitter.com/3gxcyRpxA8
— Eric Alper 🎧 (@ThatEricAlper) November 17, 2023
Alper went on to praise the fallen artist for having left behind a musical "legacy that will forever groove in our hearts."