Kool & The Gang drummer George Brown dies as tributes pour in for music legend

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    Founding member of the hit band Kool & The Gang, drummer George Brown, has died at the age of 74.

    The famous musician – who was known as George 'Funky' Brown in the music business – passed away after a lengthy cancer battle. A source close to the drummer explained how he had been battling stage 4 lung cancer in the lead up to his death.

    It is understood he died at his home in Los Angeles on Thursday evening (November 16), according to TMZ. A representative for the star told the publication: "George Brown died November 16, 2023, in Los Angeles after a battle with cancer.

    "Brown has co-written many of the band's iconic songs, including Ladies Night, Too Hot, Jungle Boogie, Celebration, and Cherish. When asked to describe his music, Brown always replied, 'The sound of happiness'."

    The first time Brown was diagnosed, he managed to recover and began touring with the hugely popular funk band again, per local CBD affiliate KCAL News. But the cancer returned earlier this year.

    The singer made history when he founded the disco group back in Jersey City in 1964. Founding members Brown, brothers Robert and Ronald Bell, Dennis Thomas, Robert Mickens, Ricky West and Charles Smith soon soared to stardom when the group gained popularity.

    Kool & The Gang soon landed their first record deal with De-Lite Records in the mid-1960s. A few years later, in 1969, the hitmakers released their debut album of the same name which was an immediate hit with music fans.

    In 1973, the band's fame reached new heights after hits like Hollywood Swinging and Jungle Boogie found its way into the charts. Others songs, including Celebration, Emergency and Ladies Night, earned the group two million album sales in the United Stated.

    Kool & The Gang have won numerous awards over the years, including two Grammy Awards, seven American Music Awards and, in 2006, they received a Music Business Association Chairman's Award for artistic achievement.

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