Ronnie Wilson, multi-instrumentalist and founder of the popular R&B and funk band The Gap Band, has died. He was 73 years old.
His wife Linda Boulvar-Wilson wrote on Facebook. that her husband died on Tuesday.
“Ronnie Wilson was a genius in creating, producing and playing flugelhorn, trumpet, keyboards and singing from childhood to seventy,” she wrote. “He will be sorely missed !!!”
The Gap Band was founded in Tulsa, Oklahoma by brothers Ronnie, Charlie and Robert Wilson, who grew up in their father’s church. The group’s name is an acronym for street names in the heart of the Black Tulsa business district.
After the release of their first record in 1974, they had 70s and 80s hits with songs such as “Shake”, “I Don’t Believe You Want To Get Up and Dance (Oops!)” And “You Dropped a Bomb. On me.”
The Gap Band was nominated for Best R&B Instrumental Performance in 1983 for “Where Are We Going?” Many of their songs, including “Outstanding”, were frequently sampled on hip-hop tracks decades later, including NWA and Nas songs. In particular, the Gap Band has been co-written by Bruno Mars and Mark Ronson’s hit “Uptown Funk” after a lawsuit due to its similarities to “I don’t believe you want to get up and dance (oh!)”
Robert Wilson, the band’s bassist, died in 2010 at the age of 53. Charlie Wilson, who was the lead singer of the group, is still performing solo.