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Ohio Players Frontman Leroy 'Sugarfoot' Bonner Dead at 69

Guitarist was the voice of the influential Seventies funk group

January 28, 2013 1:55 PM ET
 Leroy Sugarfoot Bonner, Ohio Players
Leroy 'Sugarfoot' Bonner of Sugarfoot's Ohio Players in New Orleans, Louisiana.
Barry Brecheisen/WireImage

The Ohio Players frontman Leroy "Sugarfoot" Bonner died Saturday in his hometown near Dayton, Ohio, according to his Facebook page. He was 69. No cause of death was announced.

Bonner co-founded the Ohio Players in 1964 with former members of The Ohio Untouchables, and the group scored big hits in the Seventies with "Funky Worm," "Who'd She Coo?" and most notably "Fire" and "Love Rollercoaster."

Photos: The Ohio Players

"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," reads the post on Bonner's Facebook page. "He will be missed but not forgotten as his legacy and music lives on."

Bonner toured with a version of the Ohio Players until his death. "Love Rollercoaster" found new life in the Nineties as a hit for the Red Hot Chili Peppers, and the band's songs have been widely used as samples in rap music. "Funky Worm" and its swirling, signature Moog sound became a staple of rap, from N.W.A's sample in 1988's "Gangsta Gangsta" to a similarly inspired outro on Kendrick Lamar's "m.A.A.d City." last year.

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