Published Jan 28, 2013Ohio Players frontman Leroy "Sugarfoot" Bonner died over the weekend at the age of 69. News of the death was posted on the singer's Facebook page, which notes he passed away in his hometown of Trotwood-Dayton, OH, last Friday (January 25).Vintage Vinyl News [via Pitchfork] reports that he had been battling cancer.
Bonner was a founding member of the Ohio Players, who formed in 1964 following the dissolution of R&B outfit the Ohio Untouchables. Throughout the '70s, the Players offered a steady stream of funky chart hits like "Love Rollercoaster," "O-H-I-O," "Funky Worm" and "Fire." Bonner had kept active with the project for over fifty years, regularly playing with a variation called Sugarfoot's Ohio Players.
The statement on Bonner's Facebook page praised the singer/guitarist as having been "humble yet charismatic, soft spoken and of few words," and further noted that "the weight of his thoughts, lyrics, and music has influenced countless other artists, songs, and trends." You can sample the man in action via a 1975 TV performance of number one hit "Love Rollercoaster," which was later covered by the Red Hot Chili Peppers in the '90s, down below.