From left, Ronnie Wilson, Charlie Wilson and Robert Wilson of The Gap Band funk group performing on “Soul Train” in 1975.
Ronnie Wilson, founder of the popular funk group The Gap Band, died at age 73, his wife, Linda Boulware-Wilson, said in a Nov. 2 Facebook post.
“The love of my life was called home this morning, at 10:01 a.m.,” she wrote. “Ronnie Wilson was a genius with creating, producing, and playing the flugelhorn, trumpet, keyboards, and singing music, from childhood to his early seventies. He will be truly missed!!!”
Wilson formed The Gap Brothers in the late 1960s with siblings Charlie and Robert. Originally named The Greenwood Archer Pine Street Band (after streets in their Oklahoma hometown, which was was targeted in the 1921 Tulsa race massacre), the group rose to fame in the ’70s and ’80s with many releases, including “You Dropped a Bomb on Me” and “Oops Upside Your Head.”
The brothers also opened for The Rolling Stones. Their songs have been sampled by artists including Snoop Dogg, Janet Jackson, Nas, Mary J. Blige and Ice Cube.