Funk legend Leroy “Sugarfoot Bonner, 69, pillar of The Ohio Players, passed away Saturday following a battle with cancer in Trotwood. An “Official Family Annoucement” posted Sunday on his Facebook page: Bonner, whose career spanned 56 years, died just shy of his 70th birthday, according to the post.
The Hamilton native was the lead singer and guitarist of the Ohio Players since joining the band in 1971.
Based in Dayton, the Ohio Players rocketed onto the international stage in the 1970s with string of funk hits, including “Fire,” “Skin Tight” and “Love Rollercoaster.”
Some of our best hip hop classics and new music can be attributed to The Ohio Players, as their music helped form the production of classic tracks from, A Tribe Called Quest and DJ Clark Kent, The Notorious B.I.G.and Jay-Z for their back-and-forth duo “Brooklyn’s Finest” on Hov’s debut album Reasonable Doubt. Kendrick Lamar (“m.A.A.d City”), Outkast (“Crumblin’ Erb”) and De La Soul (“Me Myself and I”) are just a few of many others who have used samples from the Ohio Players catalog.