Ronnie Wilson, co-founder of The Gap Band, dies at 73

The Gap Strip
From left to right: Robert Wilson, Charlie Wilson and Ronnie Wilson in 1980.

Michael Ochs Archives / Getty

Ronnie Wilson, a founding member of famous R&B and funk group The Gap Band, has died, his wife confirmed on Tuesday. He was 73 years old.

“The love of my life was called home this morning at 10:01 am,” Linda Boulware-Wilson said on Facebook. “Please continue to pray for the Wilson, Boulware and Collins family as we mourn her passing”

“Ronnie Wilson was a genius in the creation, production and playing of bugle, trumpet, keyboards and sung music from childhood to the early seventies,” she added. “He will be truly missed !!”

In 1967, Wilson founded the group with his brothers Charlie and Robert. The natives of Oklahoma originally named the group after three streets targeted during the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre: Greenwood, Archer and Pine, according to the group’s website. They eventually shortened the name to Gap Band, together on a musical journey to stardom.

“We used to be called the Greenwood Archer Pine Street Band,” Charlie said on the band’s website, “but that was a bit too much to put on posters, so we shortened it to GAP Band. times, due to a typographical error, the periods disappeared and the GAP Band broke up. “

The Gap Strip
From left to right: Robert Wilson, Charlie Wilson and Ronnie Wilson in 2005.

Alexandre Tamargo / Getty

The group eventually toured with bands like the Rolling Stones, Willie Nelson and Leon Russell, and are widely known for the hits “You Dropped A Bomb On Me”, “Party Train” and “Outstanding”.

The band’s website states that “Outstanding” is one of the most sampled songs in history and has been used by more than 150 artists, including Madonna, Tina Turner and Usher.

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