We have the sad news to report that Leroy “Sugarfoot” Bonner, best known as the frontman for the legendary Ohio Players, has passed away. Funk lovers and hip-hop heads alike are well versed in the music of Bonner and his band, who churned out such timeless jams as “Fire” and “Love Rollercoaster”. The latter received a resurgence in popularity in the mid-’90s when one-time funkers Red Hot Chili peppers covered the track for the Beavis & Butthead Do America soundtrack.
Crate diggers no doubt fell in love with the Players upon seeing their eye-grabbing artwork, especially the not-particularly-safe-for-work Honey cover. Some of those vinyl collectors would go on to sample the funk group, leading to such hip-hop staples as A Tribe Called Quest’s “8 Million Stories“, a number of Gang Starr joints, and J Dilla’s “Give It Up“, among many, many others.
You can revisit some Ohio Players classics below. The cause of Bonner’s death is yet to be released.[via]
UPDATE: Bonner apparently died of cancer. He was 69. [via]
The following are some tweets paying tribute to Bonner.
Dawn Silva from Brides of Funkenstein has posted that Leroy “Sugarfoot” Bonner from the Ohio Players has died.RIP. facebook.com/photo.php?fbid…
— Phonte (@phontigallo) January 27, 2013
— George Clinton (@george_clinton) January 27, 2013
R.I.P. Sugarfoot of one of my fav funk bands Ohio Players. Sad.
— Nicolay (@nicolaymusic) January 27, 2013
Rest In Peace… Leroy “Sugarfoot” Bonner, of the Ohio Players.
— Zo! (@Zo3hree5ive) January 27, 2013