The Gap Band Founder Ronnie Wilson Dead at 73
Ronnie Wilson, Co-Founder of The Gap Band, Has Passed Away at the Age of 73 appeared first on Consequence. Ronnie Wilson, a co-founder of the pioneering funk band The Gap Band and a multi-instrumentalist, died at the age of 73.
Wilson’s wife, Linda, stated in a statement to the public that her husband had a stroke last week and never recovered. On Tuesday morning, he died away (November 2nd).
The Gap Band was made up of three brothers from Tulsa, Oklahoma: Ronnie, Charlie, and Robert Wilson. Following their early success as a backing band for fellow Oklahoman Leon Russell, the brothers gained their own fame after collaborating with record producer Lonnie Simmons and signing to Mercury Records.
“Shake,” from The Gap Band’s self-titled album from 1979, became the group’s first top 10 songs. The Gap Band II released the following year, went gold, thanks in part to the single “Don’t Believe You Want to Get Up and Dance (Oops!),” which reached No. 4 on the Billboard R&B charts. Mark Ronson sampled the song for his famous single “Uptown Funk” 25 years later.
The Gap Band soared to new heights after Charlie Wilson partnered with Stevie Wonder on “I Ain’t Gonna Stand For It” in 1980. The Gap Band III debuted at No. 1 on the R&B charts and No. 16 on the Billboard 200, with “Yearning for Your Love,” “Burn Rubber on Me (Why You Wanna Hurt Me),” and “Humpin” all reaching the top 10. Two years later, they had their second No. 1 album, The Gap Band IV, which had two No. 1 singles, “Early in the Morning” and “Outstanding,” as well as the No. 2 hit, “You Dropped a Bomb on Me.” Dave Grohl has stated that “Early in the Morning” was the inspiration for Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit” drum started.
Throughout the 1980s, The Gap Band continued to record albums and had considerable success on the R&B charts. The band’s activity substantially dropped after Charlie Wilson opted to pursue a solo career.
Tyler the Creator (“911 / Mr. Lonely”), Nas (“Life’s a Bitch”), and Snoop Dogg (“Snoop’s Upside Ya Head,” “Doggfather”), among others, have sampled The Gap Band’s song over the years.
Ronnie Wilson and his brothers, Charlie and Robert Wilson, founded The Gap Band in Tulsa, Oklahoma, in the 1970s, and their music took over from major groups such as Stevie Wonder, George Clinton, and Earth Wind & Fire.
The Gap Band was a popular band in the 1980s, best known for their hit song “You Dropped a Bomb on Me.”
Ronnie was 73 years old when he passed away.