Cincinnati, OH – Leroy “Sugarfoot” Bonner, the frontman of the funk music band the Ohio Players, died in southwest Ohio at the age of 69.
A Dayton suburb funeral home spokeswoman confirmed the news Monday morning, and said that the family had not scheduled a public service, reports MSN. News of Bonner’s death was also posted to his current band’s Facebook page. No other information was released about his death, which occurred Saturday.
Bonner, of Hamilton, Ohio, joined members of a band called the Ohio Untouchables in the 1960s to form the Ohio Players. They had a number of Top 40 hits in the mid-70s, and Bonner remained active in music recently with his band, Sugarfoot’s Ohio Players.
The Ohio Players are best known for their 1970s hits “Love Rollercoaster,” ”Fire,” ”Skin Tight” and “Funky Worm.”
“Humble yet charismatic, soft-spoken and of few words, the weight of his thoughts, lyrics and music has influenced countless other artists, songs and trends,” stated the “official family announcement” posted to the Facebook page. “He will be missed but not forgotten as his legacy and music lives on.”
“It’s kind of crazy,” Marshall Jones, the bass player and a founding member of the Ohio Players, told The AP. “I’m still feeling fragile.”
Jones also called his Ohio Players bandmates “a bunch of the most creative people — especially Sugarfoot — that I have ever been around.”
Jones also recalled fondly the band’s success and stardom, reflecting on No. 1 singles and sol-out shows in New Orleans.
“I sit back now, and it was all a brilliant blaze,” he said. “I think ‘Damn, did I do that?’ It was just ‘Zoom!’ That was a starburst. And like all things like that, it fizzles.”
Our thoughts go out to Leroy “Sugarfoot” Bonner’s family and friends during this difficult time. He will be missed.