Ronnie Wilson, a founder of the legendary R&B and funk group The Gap Band, has died. He was 73.
According to Rolling Stone, Wilson formed The Gap Band in the mid-1970s with his brothers Charlie and Robert. The band’s name was an acronym for Greenwood, Archer, and Pine streets, in recognition of the 1921 Tulsa race massacre and the neighborhood where they grew up.
The band signed with Mercury Records in 1979 and soon recorded hit singles, including “I Don’t Believe You Want to Get Up and Dance (Oops!),” “Burn Rubber on Me (Why You Wanna Hurt Me),” and most notably 1982’s Gap Band IV, which featured the hits “Early in the Morning,” “You Dropped a Bomb on Me,” and “Outstanding.”
“The love of my life was called home this morning, at 10:01am,” Wilson’s wife, Linda Boulware-Wilson, confirmed Tuesday (Oct. 2) in a Facebook post, asking his fans to pray for the family while they mourn his death.
“Ronnie Wilson was a genius with creating, producing, and playing the flugelhorn, Trumpet, keyboards, and singing music, from childhood to his early seventies,” she added. “He will be truly missed!!!”
Wilson died peacefully at his home in Tulsa, Oklahoma, with Linda holding his hand, TMZ reported. The musician, who was the older brother of “Uncle” Charlie Wilson, suffered a stroke last week that put him in a semi-comma from which he never recovered.
Check out social media reactions to the passing of this music legend.
Today is a sad day for me. One of my most favorite funksters died. Outstanding is my go to song when I need to lift my spirits. A song I crank to 10 when in my car. Thank you Ronnie Wilson for all the joy you brought me over the years. You were outstanding, no doubt. #GAPBand
— CenterOfMyOwnAttention (@CenterOwn) November 3, 2021
— Kay Carter 👑 A Spike Lee Joint (@_kellycarter) November 3, 2021
In honour of #ronniewilson RIP what’s your favourite #gapband tunes
You can count on me
Yearning for your love
Early in the morning
Seasons no reason
Going in circles
I want a real love
I’m so satisfied
I will never leave you
I need your love #soul #oldschool pic.twitter.com/3gQy8Ixybo
— Robert Burnett (@RobertB43131715) November 3, 2021
— Thursday (@ennui365) November 3, 2021
— An-Magritt W. Nygaard-Ech 🌐 (@MargueritteEch) November 3, 2021