Brian ‘Brizz’ Gillis, Founding Member of Boy Band LFO, Dead at 47
Brian “Brizz” Gillis, a founding member of the boy band LFO, who left right before the group scored their 1999 hit “Summer Girls,” has died. He was 47.
LFO’s Brad Fischetti — who is now the sole surviving member of the group following the deaths of Rich Cronin in 2010 and Devin Lima in 2018 — confirmed Gillis’ death on Instagram Thursday, March 30. Fischetti did not reveal a cause of death, saying, “I don’t have details and it wouldn’t be my place to share them if I did.”
He continued: “I am really struggling to process this tragic loss. I’ve said it before and I will continue to say it; the LFO Story is a tragedy. If you know what I’ve been doing, you know I’m trying to bring light into the darkness. Trying find redemption in pain and suffering. Trying to honor the legacy.”
Fischetti described Gillis as a “main character” in the band’s early stages, adding, “If it wasn’t for his hard work and dedication in the early days of LFO, the first two chapters, the LFO you came to know and (hopefully) love would not exist.”
“My relationship with Brian was complex,” Fischetti added. “It contained moments of great tribulation but also of great joy. I learned a lot from him about the business of music and how to put together and rock a show. And it’s those positive aspects of our relationship that I will lean on now and forever.
Gillis, Fischetti, and Cronin formed the group in 1995 and soon signed a deal with Transcontinental Records, the label run by notorious boy band Svengali, Lou Pearlman. LFO achieved some moderate success in the U.S. and Europe, but a hit finally came in 1999 with “Summer Girls,” which peaked at Number 3 on the Billboard Hot 100. The group’s self-titled debut (also released in 1999) featured another Top 10 hit, “Girl on TV.”
Gillis, however, left LFO in the late Nineties, ostensibly right before LFO’s breakthrough. He was replaced by Devin Lima. (It’s unclear if Gillis participated in the recording of any of LFO before his departure; Rolling Stone has reached out to a rep for comment.)
While Gillis went on to pursue other career ventures, LFO released one more album, 2001’s Life Is Good, before disbanding. LFO did eventually reunite without Gillis, though they split again after Cronin died from a stroke while battling leukemia in 1999. Fischetti and Lima got the band back together in 2017, but Lima died a year later from cancer. Fischetti continues to tour and perform as LFO.
In his tribute to Gillis, Fischetti wrote, “I’ve prayed for Brian every day for many years. And I will continue to pray for him, for his beloved father, for his friends, his family, and those who loved him … I know that soon or maybe already, Brizz will be greeted by Rich and Devin. And I hope that together, they will make some sweet sounds. I would really like that.”