In a Twitter post, Kid Rock mourned the death of Ronald “Khalis” Bell. The co-founder of Kool & the Gang, Khalis died earlier this month on Sept. 9. He was 68-yeas-old.
In the post, Rock wrote, “R.I.P. Ronald. Your music and influence will live forever. What an honor to share the stage with you and the band.”
Rock toured with Kool & the Gang in recent years. The two toured together as part of Rock’s “Rebel Soul Tour” in 2013. The band also appeared with Dace Matthews Band, Elton John and The Roots. They performed a 50-city tour with rock band Van Halen as well.
Ronald “Khalis” Bell passed away at his home on September 9.
Khalis’ wife and agent Tia Sinclair Bell confirmed the singer’s death. According to Bell, Khalis passed away “suddenly” at his home in the U.S. Virgin Islands. She did not reveal a cause of death.
Khalis created the R&B group Kool & the Gang in 1964. His brother Robert “Kool” Bell is the group’s other co-founder. Khalis wrote and produced some of the band’s most iconic songs including 1980’s “Celebration”. He also wrote 1985’s “Cherish”. According to Variety, the group performed continuously longer than any other in R&B history. As recent as 2016, the band released new music.
“We are not over yet, we have other things we want to do—when my legs won’t run to those airports anymore then I might give up,” Khalis said in 2013.
In 2018, Kool & the Gang were inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame. Khalis also played mentor for a number of emerging artists such as The Fugees. He helped work with them on their debut album Blunted Reality.
Bell is survived by 10 children, Kahdijah, Rasheed, Nadirah, Liza, Maryam, Aminah, Jennah, Khalis, Asia and James; grandchildren; brothers Robert “Kool” Bell, Wahid Bayyan, Amir Bayyan and sister Sharifah Bayyan; and his wife Tia Sinclair Bell.