Goerge Brown, the renowned drummer, has died at the age of 74.
Brown's passing, according to ABC News, was announced on Friday by his family.
The family wrote:
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. His incredible talent and presence will be greatly missed and never forgotten.
The cause of Brown's passing has not been reported. But, UPI News reports that Brown, in recent years, had been battling lung cancer.
Per the outlet, "Brown returned to the band's tour in 2022 after he recovered from surgery and chemotherapy, however, the cancer returned earlier this year, leading to his most recent hospitalization."
Brown was a drummer and songwriter who co-founded the band Kool & the Gang.
At first calling themselves the Jazziacs in 1964, Brown – along with Ricky Westfield, Ronald Bell and his brother Robert “Kool” Bell, and neighborhood friends Spike Mickens, Dennis Thomas and Charles Smith – began making music together that melded jazz, soul and funk.
Brown helped to write many of the songs for which the band has become known. This includes Ladies Night, Too Hot, Jungle Boogie, Summer Madness, Open Sesame, Celebration, and Cherish, among many others.
Over the years, the band has won numerous awards. CNN reports:
The band was nominated for three Grammy Awards, winning one in 1979 for the soundtrack album for “Saturday Night Fever.” They also won seven American Music Awards, a BET Soul Train Lifetime Achievement Award, induction into the New Jersey Hall of Fame and the Songwriters Hall of Fame..
In addition to all of this, the band also has 25 Top Ten R&B hits, nine Top Ten Pop hits, and 31 gold and platinum albums to its name.
Kool & the Gang was one of the longest-running R&B groups until August, when Brown stopped touring with them.
The band paid tribute to Brown, following the news of his passing, on their Facebook page.
Kool & the Gang wrote:
In loving memory of our dear brother, co-founder and the funkiest drummer the world has ever seen. His beautiful soul is now at rest. We love you, George. Thank you for giving us the sound of happiness.
Brown, according to the band, " is survived by his wife Hanh Brown and his children Dorian Melvin Brown, Jorge Lewis Brown, Gregory Brown, Jordan Xuan Clarence Brown, [and] Aaron Tien Joseph Brown"