Dennis Thomas, Kool & the Gang co-founder, dies at 70

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Dennis Thomas, seen present  performing successful  2008 astatine  a Kool and the Gang performance  successful  Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.

(CNN)Kool & the Gang co-founder Dennis Thomas, often referred to arsenic "Dee Tee," has died. He was 70 years old.

Thomas passed distant successful his slumber successful New Jersey connected Saturday, according to a connection posted to the Grammy Award-winning band's verified Facebook page. Born successful Orlando, Florida, Thomas was a longtime nonmigratory of Montclair, New Jersey, the set said successful its successful memoriam post.

Thomas, "known arsenic the quintessential chill feline successful the group, loved for his hep apparel and hats, and his laid-back demeanor," is survived by his wife, daughter, and 2 sons, the connection said.

    Along with his agelong database of instrumental talents arsenic a saxophone player, flutist, and percussionist, helium was besides successful complaint of styling the R&B radical and was the "master of ceremonies" astatine their shows, according to the statement.

      Known for classics similar "Celebration," "Jungle Boogie," and "Cherish," Kool & the Gang measure themselves arsenic having performed "longer than immoderate R&B radical successful history."

      Kool & the Gang recently took part successful CNN's "Fourth successful America" peculiar programming to observe the reopening of the US successful the aftermath of the Covid-19 pandemic.

      "Dubbed 'the opening of America' by CNN, Kool & the Gang kicked disconnected the 2021 play of the Hollywood Bowl successful Los Angeles connected the 4th of July," the connection read. "Sadly, this was Dennis' farewell quality with the band."

      CNN has reached retired to the band's representatives for further comment.

        Formed by brothers Robert "Kool" Bell and Ronald Bell, Kool & the Gang has earned galore awards and Top Ten hits. The band's accolades see 1 Grammy grant and 3 Grammy nominations, according to the award's web site, and 5 American Music Awards, according to the award's web site. In addition, it had 25 Top Ten R&B hits and 9 Top Ten Pop hits, according to Billboard.

        Along with Thomas and the brothers, the New Jersey group's founding members included Robert "Spike" Mickens, Ricky Westfield, George Brown, and Charles Smith.

        CNN's Liam Reilly & Alta Spells contributed to this report.

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