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Ronald Bell: Kool & The Gang founder dies at 68

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Ronald Bell: Kool & The Gang founder dies at 68

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Ronald Bell (right) with his brother and fellow band member Robert in 2014.

Ronald Bell, one of the founders of the 1970s and 1980s pop group Kool & the Gang, has died at the age of 68.

He started the band with his brother Robert “Cool” Bell in 1964.

They became one of the most popular and influential soul and funk bands of their era with hits such as Celebration, Ladies’ Night and Get Down On It.

Their music has also been used in several films, including Saturday Night Fever, for which they won a Grammy in 1978, and Pulp Fiction.

Bell died at his home in the US Virgin Islands with his wife, his publicist said. The cause of death was not reported.

A self-taught saxophonist and singer, he founded a group in New Jersey with Robert and five high school friends Dennis Thomas, Robert Mickens, Charles Smith, George Brown and Ricky West.

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The band has released 23 albums during their career.

Their careers split into two parts. In the early 70s they recorded American hits with amazing funk songs like Jungle Boogie and Hollywood Swinging. Then, with the addition of vocalist James “JT” Taylor in 1979, they developed into a popular R&B group, achieving the biggest commercial success of their careers when they reached their 20th birthday.

As music director, Bell has co-written all of their biggest hits, including the classic wedding disco Celebration.

It was his “favorite song” from the band’s extensive back catalog, he told Reuters in 2008.

“I had no idea, you know,” he said. “I didn’t know anything, thinking it was going to be a hit. I had no idea.

“But after all these years, at the end of the show, there are times when I see all these people singing a song, and after an hour and a half you ask them to jump up and down and they still jump. and down. It overwhelms me a little. “

The group received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2015 for their contributions to the world of entertainment, and was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2018.

Too bad for drums

Bell was born and raised in Ohio, and his father, a professional boxer, a close friend of jazz musicians Thelonious Monk and Miles Davis, picked up the musical mistake.

With no money for drums, he and his brother learned to play homemade instruments on their own.

“I used to beat paint cans like a bongo, and depending on how much paint was inside, it determined the tone of the sounds we made,” he later recalled.

After the family moved to New Jersey as a teenager, Bell’s mother bought him a real set of bongos, and he began to learn to play bass, borrowing the instrument from the brother of his future bandmate Robert “Spike” Mickens.

‘Diehard Jazz Musicians’

The first incarnation of Kool & The Gang was formed in 1964, but they changed several names, including Jazziacs, The New Dimensions, The Soul Town Band, Jazz Birds and Kool & the Flames, before settling on their final name in 1969.

Along the way, they combined their love of jazz with the harsh rhythms of street funk to create the sound that led to their success in the 1970s.

“In the 60s, we played a lot of percussion on the streets, went to the park and started playing drums and the like,” Bell told Rolling Stone

“It was difficult for you to get us to play R&B,” he added. “We were die-hard jazz musicians. We have not reached this point. “

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Getty Images

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Robert (left) and Ronald Bell in the studio in the 1970s

Like the Jazz Birds, they won the famous Apollo Theater Amateur Night and were signed to a small label De-Lite Records.

Three singles from their self-titled debut album hit the pop charts, and the instrumental track Kool & The Gang showcased their raucous horny sound.

Their major break came with the 1973 album Wild and Peaceful. Lead single Funny things became their first top 40 hit in the United States, followed by Jungle Boogie and Hollywood Swingwho both reached the top 10.

Jungle Boogie became one of their signature songs – used in Pulp Fiction by Quentin Tarantino and used in Erotica Madonna.

It was only written after the band’s record label, in search of the top ten singles, forced Kool & The Gang to cover Manu Dibango’s Soul Makossa.

“That would be a hit” Bell later recalled… “But we decided not to record Soul Makossa – we would come up with our own ‘jungle music’ so as not to be derogatory.

“We wrote a song in rehearsal, went in and recorded it that night. Jungle Boogie is just one take. “

New frontman

As the disco became popular, the group struggled to replicate their early success – even though they won a Grammy for Sesame, open up, their contribution to the millions of copies of Saturday Night Fever’s soundtrack.

That changed with the addition of Taylor, a former nightclub singer and producer Eumir Deodato, resulting in a cleaner pop sounding and crossover single Ladies’ Night.

The decision came when the band toured with the Jacksons and the promoter told them they needed a frontman. Taylor, chosen for his deep baritone “like Nat King Cole”, was the only singer they auditioned.

Unlike many 70s funk bands, Kool & The Gang thrived in the 80s, producing huge hits with sentimental ballads like Joanna and Cherishas well as party hymns Steppin ‘out and Get down on it, which is now their most popular song on Spotify.

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PA Media

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The group won an outstanding prize at the 2003 Mobo Awards.

Perhaps their most enduring hit is “Celebration,” written after Bell took the Bible from his hotel room.

“I read a passage from the Scriptures about where God called the angels and announced that he was going to create this creature”, he told the songwriters universe

“He got the angels together and they said, ‘We don’t know anything,’ but we’re just celebrating you, God, we’re celebrating and praising you.”

“And I thought I would write a song about it, [with the line] ‘Everybody in the whole world … Come on!

“This is a plan … it was actually written for humanity.”

The band found a new generation of fans in the 80s and 90s as their music included a variety of pop and hip hop songs.

Jungle Boogiehorny riff appears at Luniz I got 5 on it; Summer madness formed the basis Summer DJ Jazzy Jeff and The Fresh Prince; and syncopated rhythms Jungle Jazz appear on dozens of tracks from MARRS Make it louder to Jade Don’t go away

When Public Enemy sampled three separate Kool & The Gang songs for Fear of a Black Planet, Bell expressed his approval.

“After Public Enemy, I went for broke [with hip-hop]he told Rolling Stone magazine in 2015. – Music was new to me. I sat and listened to Fear of a Black Planet and was in awe. I thought it was amazing.

“You can almost hear [drummer] George [Brown] play break beat. You can hear our music in the background. You know it was complex and compact, but you can hear Kool & the Gang music in all this hip-hop. “

“Still relevant”

The rise of hip-hop and Taylor’s departure in 1989 effectively ended Kool & The Gang’s presence on the charts, but Bell continued to record and tour with the group as the band’s legacy throughout the 1990s and 2000s.

At the time of his death, he was working on the solo album Kool Baby Brotha Band, as well as on a series of animated films about the band’s childhood and career.

Last year, in an interview with Billboard, he said he was grateful for making a career in music.

“And for it to be so long” he added… “I am very grateful that I am still relevant since [we were] nineteen. “

The musician is survived by his wife Tia Sinclair Bell and 10 children; as well as his brother Robert and three other siblings. The family will hold a private memorial service and have asked fans to donate to the Boys and Girls’ Club of America, a children’s charity.

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Pregnant Ines Gutierrez shows ‘positive test’ and highlights ‘good part’

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Pregnant Ines Gutierrez shows 'positive test' and highlights 'good part'

Ines Gutiérrez took to social media on the night of Thursday, January 20 to let her followers know she tested positive for Covid-19.

The presenter, who is expecting her first child as a result of her relationship with Joao Montes, said that everything is fine with her, and in the end emphasized the positive side of the infection: “I have a positive result. I confess that I was surprised that I had not been caught before by this animal … not that I was careless or did not try as much as possible to do what is required of us, but the truth is that I already had what what I call “true racias”, because so many people around me have already become infected … “, starts with a letter.

“I feel that at this stage we are all playing a kind of Russian roulette. Some are lucky, others are chosen. I would like to believe that I will forever remain in the first group, but I was wrong.😅”, more added.

“I am pregnant and therefore I could only get vaccinated later, after a morphological ultrasound, and I confess that being pregnant, my fear, of course, increases. Fortunately, on January 5th I received my 2nd dose of the vaccine and I feel more protected despite being infected.” still can be read.

“I have symptoms: fever, body aches, sore throat and runny nose… deep down, like I have a bad flu. The usual low immune system of pregnant women is also characteristic. The good part: yesterday was much worse than today. Now yes, I have a good reason to completely relax and spend a week in our ❤️ bubble. Good food and plenty of fluids also help. I just wanted to tell you that I’m fine, calm, calm and resting. Now be patient and heal me. To you: health!he concluded.

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Mafalda Rodiles has a “heart in her hands” because of her son: “I had indications for surgery”

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Mafalda Rodiles has a “heart in her hands” because of her son: “I had indications for surgery”

Mafalda Rodiles scared with son Martim and ended by telling everything on this Wednesday, January 19, in his instagram page.

“At the very beginning of the year, Martim fell on his hand while playing on vacation. Since there was a fall in front of me, I clearly saw that we needed to go to the hospital, we went to the Odemira Health Center, where we were treated very well, they took an x-ray, confirming that it was broken, immobilized the arm and advised us to go to Lisbon., began to write.

“After two and a half hours I was in Estefania, with a heart in my hands, because Martim had indications for an operation. He not only broke, but also dislocated his elbow.”, continuation.

Despite everything, the actress received good news: “We were treated so well in Estefania that I can only thank you, and in fact the doctor managed to do a reposition, that is, he injected Martim with a sedative and put his hand in place, and then put a plaster on it. It worked, no surgery was required, and now there are only 5 days left to remove the cast.”.

“Martim was a brave man and I’m sure he will become great again”he concluded.

Reproduction Instagram, DR

Remember that Mafalda Rodiles is a mother chalk, seven years old, and Martim, four years old, through marriage to a Brazilian director. Edgar Miranda.

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Susana Henriquez of Peso Pesado considered suicide: “I was at the top of the overpass getting ready to jump.”

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Susana Henriquez of Peso Pesado considered suicide: "I was at the top of the overpass getting ready to jump."

or case Amelie Battle Bastos, a 16-year-old girl who disappeared in Porto and whose body was found in the late afternoon of the day after his disappearance, he left Portugal in shock. teenager ran “suicidal risk”, Existence “one year of psychiatric treatment for depression”. There are several people on social media who have spoken out and warned about the importance of mental health. Susana Henriquez is one of them.

A personal trainer, who competed in the first edition of “Peso Pesado” on SIC in 2011, revealed on social media that he was Amelie’s age when he considered taking his own life. “The case of Amelie touched me in a special way. I was her age when I was diagnosed with depression after losing the most important person in my life: my mother.”, began to write.

“I was her age when it crossed my mind a thousand times to commit suicide and end the suffering that I felt, and yes … I was literally seconds away from doing it that day when I was at the top of the overpass ready to jump!”, said.

“I was in a dark, cold place, similar to what this girl had. Similar but never the same. Only she will know how she felt. Only she will know how dark the world will be in her eyes! Depression is not freshness. Depression is a disease that often runs quietly and is one of the most painful that can exist. Anyone who has been in this dark place will understand what I mean.”, continuation.

Finally, Susana Henriquez leaves a message: “If you are in this dark place right now, I want you to know that you are not alone, that there is a way out of this alley, that you can turn around and smile again. If you are in this place… Please: ask for help! If you have someone close with signs of depression, pay attention, do not underestimate these signs, show that you are close to this person. Don’t listen… Listen… Embrace… Be present!”, he said.

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“Let’s be more attentive to each other, with sympathy, without judgment and with love, in order to avoid such tragedies! Don’t Suffer in Silence: Contacts of the Voz Amiga Association. 213 544 545 – 912 802 669 – 963 524 660 / Daily from 15:30 to 00:30. Rest in peace Amelie. And may your family have all the support in the world.”, finished.

Ask for help.

CONTACTS

Friendly SOS line voice. Emotional Support and Suicide Prevention Phone: 213 544 545 / 912 802 669 / 963 524 660 (daily from 15:30 to 00:30)

Contact the Hospital Mental Health Services in your area – adults, Childhood and youth.

Line SNS24 (808 242424 and www.sns24.gov.pt) and 112 are also available.

Contact via crisis lines and yes Line of psychological counseling.

For more information see National Suicide Prevention Plan.

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