Dennis Thomas also known as “Dee Tee,” co-founder of Kool & the Gang, passed away this weekend at the age of 70.
According to a statement, Dennis Thomas became “the quintessential cool cat in the group.” Although Thomas’ cause of death has not been revealed, The late band member passed away painlessly in his sleep.
Band Origins, Members
Thomas was an original member of Kool & the Gang, which formed in 1964 with bassist Robert “Kool” Bell and his brother, Ronald Bell, a tenor saxophonist
Other band members include drummer George Brown, guitarist Charles Smith, trumpeter Robert “Spike” Mickens and pianist Ricky Westfield. During a twenty year span, the band performed with thrill and an impeccable jazz sound.
Several of the band’s hits include “Jungle Boogie,” “Get Down On It,” and “Celebration.” Moreover, the band will release its 25th album Perfect Union on Aug. 20.
Symbol of Greatness
Thomas wore many hats while with Kool & the Gang. He played as a flautist and percussionist in addition to styling the group for performances and events. Most notably, Thomas delivered the well-known monologue during the band’s live performance of “Who’s Gonna Take The Weight.”
Dennis Thomas Life, Legacy
Dennis Thomas was born on February 9, 1951, in Orlando. More than a decade later, Thomas met his bandmates in Jersey City, New Jersey in 1964. First, the band referred to themselves as The Jazziacs prior to changing their name to Kool & the Gang. Thomas endured most of his experiences in the suburban city of Montclair, New Jersey.
Prayers up to Dennis Taylor’s loved ones. He is survived by his wife, Phynjuar Saunders Thomas, and children David and Devin Thomas and Tuesday Rankin. He preceded his late daughter Michelle Thomas, an actress forThe Cosby Show and Family Matters. Unfortunately, she succumbed to stomach cancer in 1998.