Kool & the Gang co-founder Ronald Bell dies aged 68

Kool & the Gang (mit Sänger Ronald Bell)

Kool & The Gang co-founder Ronald Bell has died aged 68, a representative for the singer has said.

Bell died on Wednesday at his home in the US Virgin Islands with his wife by his side, his publicist said. No cause of death was released.

Bell co-founded Kool & The Gang in New Jersey in 1964 and wrote some of the group's best-known songs, including party staple Celebration, Cherish, Jungle Boogie and Summer Madness.

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Ronald Bell and Kool and the Gang
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Ronald Bell and Kool and the Gang
PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA - NOVEMBER 12: (L-R) Honorees of the 2019 Marian Anderson Award George Brown, Robert "Kool" Bell, Dennis Thomas and Ronald Bell of Kool & The Gang attend the 2019 Marian Anderson Award Honoring Kool & The Gang at The Kimmel Center on November 12, 2019 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Gilbert Carrasquillo/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA - NOVEMBER 12: Honoree of the 2019 Marian Anderson Award Ronald Bell of Kool & The Gang speaks on stage during the 2019 Marian Anderson Award Honoring Kool & The Gang at The Kimmel Center on November 12, 2019 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Gilbert Carrasquillo/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA - NOVEMBER 12: (L-R) Honorees of the 2019 Marian Anderson Award George Brown and Ronald Bell of Kool & The Gang attend the 2019 Marian Anderson Award Honoring Kool & The Gang at The Kimmel Center on November 12, 2019 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Gilbert Carrasquillo/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JUNE 07: James "J.T." Taylor, Ronald Bell, Robert "Kool" Bell and George Brown of Kool & The Gang speak onstage during An Evening With Kool & The Gang at The GRAMMY Museum on June 7, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Alison Buck/WireImage)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JUNE 07: Robert "Kool" Bell, James "J.T." Taylor, Ronald Bell and George Brown of Kool & The Gang attend An Evening With Kool & The Gang at The GRAMMY Museum on June 7, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Alison Buck/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 14: (L-R) George Brown, Ronald Bell, Robert "Kool" Bell, James "JT" Taylor, and Dennis Thomas of Kool & The Gang pose with their awards backstage during the Songwriters Hall of Fame 49th Annual Induction and Awards Dinner at New York Marriott Marquis Hotel on June 14, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Gary Gershoff/Getty Images for Songwriters Hall Of Fame)
US musicians George Brown (L), Robert 'Kool' Bell (3rd from L), Ronald Bell (2nd from R) and Dennis Thomas (L) of Kool & The Gang listen to James 'JT' Taylor (2nd from L) speech onstage during the Songwriters Hall of Fame 49th Annual Induction and Awards Dinner at New York Marriott Marquis Hotel on June 14, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by ANGELA WEISS / AFP) (Photo credit should read ANGELA WEISS/AFP via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 14: (L-R) George Brown, Robert "Kool" Bell, James "JT" Taylor, Ronald Bell, and Dennis Thomas of Kool & The Gang perform onstage during the Songwriters Hall of Fame 49th Annual Induction and Awards Dinner at New York Marriott Marquis Hotel on June 14, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Larry Busacca/Getty Images for Songwriters Hall Of Fame)
Ronald Bell, founding member from the funk band Kool and the Gang, answers questions during an interview March 1, 2018 in New York. The funk classics of Kool and the Gang have found eternal life in everything from stadium pump-up songs to hip-hop samples to wedding parties. Yet more than 50 years after forming, the group itself has hardly slowed down."We do about 100 shows a year, all around the world, in every place you could imagine," Ronald Bell, one of four founding members of the group who is still active, said as Kool and the Gang passed through New York. / AFP PHOTO / Don EMMERT (Photo credit should read DON EMMERT/AFP via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 24: Ronald Bell during SAG-AFTRA foundation career retrospective conversations with Kool and The Gang's Ronald "Khalis" Bell at The Robin Williams Center on January 24, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Roy Rochlin/Getty Images)
CHARLOTTE, NC - JULY 22: Singer/saxophonist Ronald Bell of Kool & The Gang performs at PNC Music Pavilion on July 22, 2016 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Jeff Hahne/Getty Images)
ASBURY PARK, NEW JERSEY - APRIL 07: Dennis Thomas, Robert "Kool" Bell, Ronald Bell and George Brown of Kool & The Gang attends the 2016 New Jersey Hall Of Fame Induction Ceremony at Asbury Park Convention Center on April 7, 2016 in Asbury Park, New Jersey. (Photo by Bobby Bank/WireImage)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - OCTOBER 08: Robert 'Kool' Bell, Ronald Khalis Bell, Dennis 'DT' Thomas and George Brown of Kool & The Gang attend the ceremony honoring them with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on October 8, 2015 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - OCTOBER 08: Ronald Khalis Bell of Kool & the Gang attend the ceremony honoring Kool & The Gang with a Star on The Hollywood Walk of Fame held on October 8, 2015 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Albert L. Ortega/Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NV - NOVEMBER 07: (L-R) Honorees George Brown, Ronald Bell, Dennis Thomas and Robert 'Kool' Bell of Kool and the Gang attend the 2014 Soul Train Music Awards at the Orleans Arena on November 7, 2014 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Paras Griffin/Getty Images)
Chubby Checker (2nd left) with Robert "Kool" Bell, Ronald Khalis Bell and Dennis "DT" Thomas of Kool & the Gang at the R&B Foundation press conference April 30, 2008 at the Lowe's Hotel in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Lisa Lake/WireImage)
Kool & the Gang (mit Sänger Ronald Bell) on 14.10.1987 in München / Munich. (Photo by Fryderyk Gabowicz/picture alliance via Getty Images)
NEW YORK - CIRCA MID 1970s: R&B group "Kool & the Gang" pose for a mid 1970's portrait at the Kriegsmann studios in New York City. Robert Bell (known as "Kool") on bass (b. October 8, 1950, Youngstown, Ohio) and Ronald Bell on tenor saxophone (b. November 1, 1951, Youngstown, Ohio); George Brown on drums (b. January 5, 1949); Robert Mickens on trumpet; Dennis Thomas on alto saxophone; Claydes Charles Smith on guitar (b. September 6, 1948, d. June 20, 2006), trombonist Clifford Adams, and Rick Westfield on keyboards. (Photo by James Kriegsmann/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)
UNSPECIFIED - NOVEMBER 01: Photo of KOOL & THE GANG and Robert Kool BELL and Ronald BELL; Portrait of Robert 'Kool' Bell and Ronald Bell (Photo by David Corio/Redferns)
Kool & the Gang (Ronald Bell) on 14.10.1987 in München / Munich. (Photo by Fryderyk Gabowicz/picture alliance via Getty Images)
George Brown, Ronald Khalis Bell, Robert "Kool" Bell, Dennis "DT" Thomas and Kool & the Gang (Photo by Mathew Imaging/FilmMagic)
Kool and the Gang member, Ronald Bell, right, raises his hands as he serenades the crowd with "Ladies Night" at Pigeon Island, St. Lucia, Saturday, May 15, 1999, during the 1999 St. Lucia Jazz Festival. (AP Photo/Chris Brandis)
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The band were one of the biggest of the 1970s and won the album of the year Grammy in 1978 for their work on the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack.

They are also one of the most sampled artists of all time, with the horns from their 1973 funky jam Jungle Boogie featuring on hundreds of other songs.

In 2015, Kool & the Gang were honoured with a star on the Hollywood Walk Of Fame.

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